The 52-year-old victim says the dog ran out of a parked SUV and charged him while he was taking his coffee break outside the Fayetteville Walmart store where he is employed. The dog, a Belgian Malinois, similar to a German Shepherd, bit Dieke on several parts of his body.
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“He got right in my face. He got me on the arm, and I had to drag him inside the store to get help,” said Dieke.
Dieke, who didn’t want to be identified on camera, showed a reporter the bite marks on his arm, stomach and chest.
Here are more details on this story:
Security camera video shows Dieke staggering into the store with the dog locked on his left arm. He shook the dog off, but it lunged at him again. Moments later, the deputy saw the commotion and rushed to restrain the dog.
“The dog obviously felt the victim was a threat of some sort. I don’t know why,” said Fayette County Maj. Bryan Woodie.
The Sheriff’s Office is investigating why the bailout door, which can be released by remote in an emergency, sprung open. The remote device that controls the door, and is carried by the handler, has a recessed button that must be pushed directly two times to release the door, a feature designed to prevent accidental openings.
The remote manufacturer told the Sheriff’s Office Thursday that the device is subject to frequency interference, which raised the possibility that another car remote accidentally opened the door.
“So it could have been some kid playing with a garage door opener, somebody in the parking lot locking, unlocking their door,” said k-2 trainer Lt. Dan Thamert.
The Sheriff’s Office says it was not aware of the frequency issue and will change the system with a more modern one. They also say that the dog that attacked Dieke did not show overly aggressive behavior in the past and may have overreacted when it exited the SUV and didn’t see its handler.
The how and the why the dog attacked doesn’t matter to Dieke. He just wants answers.
“How could they not control their own dog in public?” said Dieke.