Witness said pit bull at address of fatal mauling nearly attacked him

A witness who buys distressed properties testified Thursday that he saw a brown “very aggressive, snarling, barking” pit bull on a heavy chain that ran toward him near 345 Middle St. in September 2016.

The man testified in the trial of a Dayton man facing a control of dogs charge related to the 2017 death of Maurice Brown. Prosecutors in Dayton Municipal Court presented 11 witnesses during two days before resting late Thursday afternoon.

The trial is scheduled to resume Friday morning with possible defense witnesses but without an alternate juror excused due to illness.

RELATED: Attorney in dog mauling case said Dayton police ‘don’t run up and try to help’

The witness said that later another loose dog ran at him and that he drew a weapon as the dog got within five feet of him until he heard a voice yell, “Don’t shoot my dog! Don’t shoot my dog!” before the dog retreated.

Anthony Austin, 29, faces a single first-degree misdemeanor charge of control of dogs in Judge Deirdre Logan’s courtroom. Austin could face maximum punishments of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Maurice Brown, 60, died of blood loss from numerous dog bites on April 25, 2017, after being attacked by a dog in an alley behind a house at 345 Middle St. His family said Brown was an Air Force veteran and musician who played at area churches.

RELATED: Defendant in deadly Dayton dog mauling incident faces trial

The witness — who identified the man for police on a lineup card — said the man and a woman swore at him during the September 2016 incident and warned him to leave “before something bad” happens.

The witness said his wife noticed a story in the newspaper after the dog mauling and suggested he call police.

Earlier testimony was mostly from Dayton police personnel. Dayton police Det. Thomas J. Cope testified that Austin developed as a suspect after interviews with people living nearby.

RELATED: Man accused of failing to control dog in mauling death asks for jury trial

Prosecutors and defense attorney Carl Goraleski asked Cope and other officers about the process of the “six-pack” photo lineup that included Austin’s mug shot.

Multiple officers testified that a different person than the one who developed the suspect presents the six-pack to witnesses.

A neighbor who was fixing up a house in April 2017 testified that one of the people in the six-pack looked familiar when he was asked by police. The neighbor said he noticed the dogs — which he said were always chained up — but that he did not approach them.

RELATED: Dog mauling charge: ‘A misdemeanor for a death — that’s disturbing’

During cross examination, Cope said only the dogs’ chain and food cup were tested for DNA and results showed no DNA. Cope also said DNA tests were not done of food bowls or mail found inside the residence.

Goraleski asked Cope to view a photograph from a social media website that showed a man holding a pit bull.

The detective said he had seen the photo before and that it may have been part of the investigation of the case. Asked if the photo depicted the defendant, Cope said: “No, This is not Mr. Austin.”

RELATED: Dayton man pleads not guilty in charges after fatal dog mauling

Cope testified on Wednesday that information gathered included a phone call between Austin and police in which Austin allegedly said he wasn’t at the Middle Street address when “my” dog got out.

A pathologist testified as prosecutors showed autopsy photos of Browns’ body. The photos showed numerous puncture wounds and tears, none of which were to internal organs or major arteries.

911 CALL: Dog attack victim pleads ‘Jesus, help me’ before his death

PREVIOUSLY: A year later, no charges in Dayton dog mauling death

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