Sep 12, 2012 12:47 AM by Andy Koen

Pit bull victim calls for breed ban

COLORADO SPRINGS - John Castle is in pretty bad shape. His hand needed reconstructive surgery, he has permanent nerve damage and will likely need physical therapy. He was re-admitted to the hospital earlier this week when the infection from the dog bite on his leg worsened.

Castle was walking through Memorial Park on Labor Day when he says a pit bull came out of nowhere and attacked him.

"He pulled my leg out from under me, swung me over on the grass and lunged for my throat," Castle recalled. "That's when I put my hand up."

The dog's owner pulled the animal off of him and Castle managed to make his way across the street. A good samaritan spotted him from a nearby apartment and called 911.

You might expect Castle to be angry with the dog owner. Instead, he says, "the first thing I would say to him, oddly enough, is thank you for saving my life."

Castle is a survivor in more ways than one. He's been fighting and beating stage four cancer by eating healthy and exercising.

His daughter Cassandra Giardina says she's admired her father's health regimen."He's very disciplined but the physical activity is one of the biggest parts of it," she said.

However, as he recovers Castle says he's afraid now to take walks. So, he's also calling on city and county leaders to consider a pit bull breed ban similar to the one enacted in Denver.

"If we could get protection for people in this county that don't have to worry about the fear of going for a casual walk in our beautiful city," he said.

The director of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region says a witness reported the dog owner driving away in a green and brown Chrysler sedan with a Colorado license plate number of 567-VFX.

Should the owner come forward, the dog would be quarantined and tested for rabies. In all likelihood the owner would also be ticketed for harboring a dangerous animal, a misdemeanor offense.

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