Criminal charges possible in East Texas dog attack case - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Criminal charges possible in East Texas dog attack case


Criminal charges have not yet been ruled out in the case of a Rusk County boy who was hospitalized after a dog attack last week.

The incident happened on Deer Trail Road in Rusk County, about four miles outside the City of Henderson.

Rusk County authorities say know who owns the dog, but are not releasing any more information until their investigation is complete. Wednesday, the boy and his mother explained what happened during the attack.

Nine-year-old Julio Hernandez says the attack happened on the edge of his family's yard near the road where he was playing with other children and a ball.

"My son went to get the ball and the dog came and got his face," says Julio's mother, Juana.

"The ball went into the street, and when the child went into the street to retrieve the ball is when the dog attacked him," says Rusk County Justice of the Peace Precinct 5 Joe Sorrells.

Julio was transported to Dallas and treated for his injuries. He's home and doing well, but his wounds will take time to heal.

"The dog actually existed and lived on a different street from where the incident happened. Why the dog was loose? I'm not sure," says Judge Sorrells.

In a hearing this week, the court ordered the dog to be put down. Judge Sorrells says the dog lacked the proper identification to prove he'd had a rabies vaccine.

"The dog did not have a rabies tag, nor did it have any identification of having a rabies shot. So, the decision of the hearing of the court was to destroy the dog for rabies testing," says Judge Sorrells.

Julio's mother, Juana, says she knows people love their pets, but the safety of her children comes first.

"The owner of the dog said, 'You can do something to get me my dog back,' and I said, 'No. I can't.' She said, 'I love my dog.' I said, 'I love my kids,'" says Juana.

The Rusk County Sheriff's Office says criminal charges could be filed if the dog was not up to date on his rabies shots. The tests that are being run on the dog's body could be back sometime next week.

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