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Robert Steven Kahn, 62, was arrested for allegedly fleeing the scene after a dog bite incident that was reported at about 11:40 a.m. Saturday in the garden center of Lowe's in Murrieta.
Robert Steven Kahn, 62, was arrested for allegedly fleeing the scene after a dog bite incident that was reported at about 11:40 a.m. Saturday in the g...

Murrieta Police arrest owner of Akita that bit a 3-Year-Old boy in Lowe's

Monday, December 30th, 2013
Issue 01, Volume 17.
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UPDATE: Murrieta Police Press Release

The owner of the Akita dog that bit a 3-year-old boy at Lowe’s in Murrieta, causing the boy to be hospitalized, was arrested Thursday.

Robert Steven Kahn, 62, of Murrieta, was booked into the Southwest Detention Center on suspicion of willfully causing bodily injury by animal, a felony, according to Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad.

Kahn's identity was not immediately known because he allegedly took his dog and fled the scene of the incident that was reported at about 11:40 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28 in the garden center of Lowe’s Home Improvement Center located at 24701 Madison Ave.

Surveillance images were distributed to media and Kahn was located Sunday and interviewed by Murrieta police detectives. Animal Friends of the Valleys responded to the man’s home and took the Akita into custody that same day, according to police.

Conrad also said the decision to arrest Kahn was made after detectives did in fact discover two prior incidents in which the dog was suspected of showing aggression toward young children.

"Injuries from those two incidents were less severe and did not require hospitalization," Conrad said. "They were not reported to the police department or animal control at the time they occurred."

The dog remains quarantined at Animal Friends of the Valleys in Wildomar and is to remain in protective custody for 10 days following the incident, according to Willa Bagwell, executive director of AFV, which is contracted to provide animal control services for the City of Murrieta.

Anyone with further information related to the case, such as witnesses or additional dog bite victims, were encouraged to contact Detective Jeremy Durrant by calling 951-461-6354.

Owner identified and questioned, Akita quarantined after attack on 3-year-old

On Saturday, 12/28/13 at 1147 hours Murrieta PD Officers responded to the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center – 24701 Madison Avenue regarding a child who was bitten by a dog. Murrieta Fire Department personnel also responded for treatment of the child. Officers contacted the child along with his father—the child was identified as a 3-year-old Murrieta resident. The dog and its owner left the business prior to officer’s arrival.

Officers determined the 3-year-old was in the garden center of Lowes with an adult family member while his father was shopping a short distance away. The dog (identified as a 3-year-old male Akita) was on leash with his owner and was near the child. Preliminary information suggests the child tried to pet the dog when the dog attacked the child. The dog bit the child in the head causing significant punctures/cuts to his face. The father rushed to his son’s aid and spoke with the dog’s owner. The owner apologized and then left the garden center and into the parking lot of Lowe’s—ultimately leaving the area.

The child was transported by AMR to Inland Valley Region Medical Center for treatment. The child sustained tears to his forehead, jaw, neck and around his right eye requiring over 50 sutures. The child also sustained abrasions/scratches to his nose. The child was later transferred to Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego for additional treatment. He was released from Rady’s Children’s Hospital on 12/29/13.

Detectives responded to the scene and were able to obtain surveillance video from Lowes showing the dog, its owner and the victim following the attack. The owner was ultimately identified through these photos as a 62-year-old Murrieta resident (name withheld). Detectives contacted the suspect on Sunday (12/29/13) and the Akita was quarantined by the Animal Friends of the Valley (Animal Control). The case is still active and detectives will be conducting additional interviews. Once completed, detectives will be forwarding the case to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office for review and possible criminal filing.

If you have any additional information regarding this case, please contact Detective Jeremy Durrant at 951-461-6354 or the on-duty Watch Commander at 951-696-3615. You can also provide information anonymously through "We Tip" at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Murrieta police ask public's help in search of Akita who attacked 3-year-old boy

MURRIETA - A 3-year-old boy was bit in the face several times by a dog at a Lowe's home improvement store in Murrieta, a spokesman said today.

Firefighters and police received a call at about noon Saturday about the dog attack and went to 24701 Madison Avenue. A man entered the garden center with his dog when the attack happened, Murrieta Fire Department spokesman Matt Corelli said.

The boy suffered multiple bit wounds to his face but Corelli described the injuries as minor. The boy was taken to Inland Valley Regional Medical Center, Corelli said. NBC San Diego reported the boy received 50 stitches and was transferred to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego where he showed stable life signs.

The dog was an Akita, it was reported.

The dog's owner left the business before police and firefighters showed up. Murrieta police urge anyone who knows the whereabouts of the dog owner to call at (951) 304-2677.



Comment Profile ImageJulie
Comment #1 | Monday, Dec 30, 2013 at 8:05 am
We saw this on the news last night and you could see the owner leaving in his white truck. He had to back up before leaving and we could see his license plate, although it was blurry. Why can't the police pause the video and clear up the image? Do they do that or maybe I watch too much T.V. Plus, the owner of the dog was in the doorway for a bit. You can't tell me nobody recognized the man. Pretty chicken to leave the scene like that! You and your dog are going to have to face the music Mr owner and you are just making it worse by hiding out. Accidents happen, but evading the police like this is a crime. I hope the little boy recovers without traumatic memories and is now forever scared of dogs. Akitas are unpredictable, like many dogs and some dogs and kids don't mix well. Just a bad situation being made worse now by the owner. I know you don't want anything to happen to your dog, but this boy didn't want 50 stitches in his face either. You are responsible for your pet!
Comment Profile Imageangie
Comment #2 | Monday, Dec 30, 2013 at 10:33 am
Why do people take their pets with them to lowes? iI totally understand seeing eye dogs but all other dogs need to stay out. I hope the child gets well soon and the parents sue lowes.
Comment Profile ImageMG Peters
Comment #3 | Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 8:41 am
Since when are dogs allowed in retail stores? I certainly hope the idiot owner has liability insurance. In house council for Lowe's is going to be busy next week. I hope the family of the child OWNES this store for it's failing to provide a safe shopping environment. How horrible to be shopping in a garden center with your children only to have one mauled by a large dog who was allowed, yes allowed, to bring a viscous large animal in the store. This Lowe's has the fewest employees of any HI store I have ever been in. Dog owner and Lowe's both FAILED.
Comment Profile ImageLee Chew
Comment #4 | Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 6:26 am
The father of the child soon will be saying, Jacoby & Meyers got me 3.1 million.
Comment Profile ImageNick
Comment #5 | Friday, Jan 3, 2014 at 3:06 pm
Surprising. From the mugshot, I would've guessed child molester.
Comment Profile ImageLou
Comment #6 | Thursday, Jan 9, 2014 at 10:40 pm
What a scum to leave the store without helping and identifying yourself. You sir deserve a beating for being such a low life. I'm sure you didn't want to be held responsible for what happened.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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