Boy may lose ear after pit bull attack

By Eric Flack

(LOUISVILLE) -- A 12-year-old Louisville boy is recovering after a pit bull bit off half his ear. It happened Feb. 17 in the 8800 block of Running Fox Circle in Fern Creek. Now an investigation has been launched into whether or not the dog's owner should be held responsible. WAVE 3 Investigator Eric Flack has more.

Video football is all 12-year-old Brady Nagel can play these days after a pit bull ended his last real game in horrifying fashion.

"You had to touch the fence to score, and I was going towards the fence, and the dog started barking," Brady said. "So I turned around, and the dog just jumped over the fence and bit me."

The pit bull bit off half his ear without ever leaving the yard.

"The fence wasn't as high as he is," Brady's mom, Debbie said. "So the dog just leapt over, grabbed the ear, and brought it back into his yard."

Doctors re-attached the missing part of the ear, but it say it's not taking, so Brady may lose it. And the pit bull's owner, who refused to give us his name or come out of his house to talk to us, says he's not going to pay Brady's medical bills.

"You know I hate that the boy got hurt, but it's not my responsibility," the dog owner said.

He says Brady didn't have permission to be playing in his neighbor's yard and that Brady provoked the attack.

"And when you are taunting and kicking at a dog, anytime you do a dog like that it's going to be aggressive towards you."

Witnesses say that's not how it happened. Rondell Walker, 12, said it's true Brady had taunted the dog before, but he was not taunting it when he was bitten.

Metro Animal Services, which has now quarantined the dog, told us owners are responsible for injuries caused by their pets, but only a judge can force the owner to pay up.

"You can sue the individual," spokesperson Jackie Gulbe said. "You get a lawyer and you go to court."

So far, Brady's mom, hasn't had any going that route. She says she has called two lawyers and no one will take the case since the pit bull never actually left its property. She says the system is failing her and Brady.

"We're the victim, yet we're having to do everything and take care of all these things by ourselves," Debbie Nagel said. "You need to help the people that are hurt."

Metro Animal Services is continuing to investigate. Under the new dangerous dog ordinance, the dog's owner can be fined up to $1,000 if his dog is deemed "potentially dangerous."

Should the owner want to keep the pit bull, he will have to buy a $250 license, muzzle it and keep it on a 4-foot leash in public, as well as paying to have a microchip implanted. Animal Services will also have to be satisfied the owner's fence is high enough to keep it from hurting any one else.

Online Reporter: Eric Flack

Online Producer: Michael Dever