12 bitten by 'aggressive' dogs in NJ neighborhood; owner charged

LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. (News 12/CNN) - Animal control officers have taken three dogs into custody after officials say they terrorized a New Jersey neighborhood, biting at least 12 people in the last several months.

The Little Egg Harbor Police Department released a video on their Facebook page showing one resident fighting off the three dogs with a metal pole. (Source: Little Egg Harbor Police Department/Facebook/News 12 New Jersey LLC/CNN)

Six people, including John Kita, were bitten in the latest incident Monday in Little Egg Harbor, N.J., with one woman sustaining a serious injury, according to police. Kita says he was lucky to only be bitten on the leg.

“They came around the van, as I was vacuuming. I was trying to fend them off, and suddenly, one just lunged at me and bit me in the upper leg,” Kita said. “It was a scary incident. I’ve been here over 40 years, and nothing like this has ever happened.”

The Little Egg Harbor Police Department released a video on their Facebook page showing one resident fighting off the dogs with a metal pole.

“There were six incidents at least that we know of,” Chief Richard Buzby Jr. said. "The residents in some cases were terrified. Some of the victims were elderly. We were but an hour window away from having school children on the street from the school buses.”

Buzby says the three dogs involved in Monday afternoon’s attack were already known to the department because they have attacked several times over the last four months. The total number of victims has now reached at least 12.

“There’s a proper way of training them to be a guard dog and a proper way of training them to be a house pet, but aggressive dogs like that, that’s not tolerated,” resident Glenn Jonson said.

The owner of the dogs, identified by neighbors as 26-year-old Esau Morales, faces multiple charges from animal control. The dogs have reportedly been escaping through a fenced-in yard.

The dogs are being held at the Ocean County Animal Shelter. Buzby says he doesn’t know if they will be euthanized, but he is working to make sure they are not allowed back in the traumatized neighborhood.

Copyright 2020 News 12 New Jersey LLC, John Kita, Little Egg Harbor Police Department/Facebook via CNN. All rights reserved.