Richard Garritson, 21, is a member of a well-known family of runners and was training to compete for a scholarship to attend Cal State San Marcos before a vicious attack by a pack of pit bulls on Sunday evening.
Today he remains in Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he and his brother, John, 20, were airlifted after at least four pit bulls savagely mauled them around 5:30 p.m on November 27, according to SignOnSanDiego.com.
Richard is undergoing surgery for the severe bite wounds to both of his calves. The younger Garritson also was bitten but not as severely, as both of them tried to fight off the dogs. The two young men were running with their two sisters and a 9-year old niece near Valley Center Middle School on Cobb Lane near Coolwater Ranch Lane, when the dogs suddenly appeared and began biting their legs, according to SignonSanDiego.com. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/nov/27/valley-center-man-mauled-pack-dogs/
One of the sisters, Maegan Garritson, 18, said her brother, Richard, was dragged to the ground by the dogs and was screaming. He yelled for the girls to keep on running. "The dogs had him on his back, and they were just ripping him apart," she told Brandon Lowrey of the North County Times.
She said John also told them to go on while he stayed to help Richard. The Garritson family members are “intense, elite runners” according to the North County Times, which states that they have been profiled by Runners’ World Magazine and other major publications, including the Los Angeles Times, and appear at top rankings in recent races. Blake Garritson, 28, who was running on a different path at the time of the incident, said Richard and John are expected to survive the attack but there is serious concern about whether Richard will be able to walk again because of the severity of the damage to his legs. San Diego Animal Control reports that four pit bulls were located at a nearby house. The owner said they are seven months old and requested that they be euthanized.
The owner claims that three other pit bulls found on the property were either tied up or in the house at the time of the attack. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/valley-center/valley-center-pit-bulls-seized-killed-after-mauling/article_e4f58bd7-f869-5601-bb25-449aa07656da.html Lt. Dan DeSousa of San Diego Animal Control said the history of the dogs that were euthanized is still being investigated to determine if they had a record of violence. If so, the owner could face felony criminal charges in addition to violations of leash laws. Both Richard and John Garritson remained in the hospital on Monday, according to reports : http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/valley-center/valley-center-elite-running-family-attacked-by-dogs/article_9e954f6b-e06d-529b-a864-bc5fed7885b9.html#ixzz1f4HOqi23
Other Recent Pit Bull Attacks in San Diego Emako Mendoza, 75, was attacked in her own back yard in Paradise Hills on June 18, 2011, by two pit bulls owned by neighbors, as she went outside about 6:30 a.m. Her leg was amputated after the attack and her left arm was also seriously injured. http://www.opposingviews.com/i/2-pit-bulls-attack-san-diego-woman-75-leg-amputated That same week, there were two more pit bull attacks in San Diego. On June 24, a family pit bull attacked a one-year-old baby in a home in Chula Vista. The family had five dogs living in the house.
At 10:45 a.m. that day, a woman was walking her dogs in Grant Hill when one of them was attacked by two dogs, a pit bull and a Boxer, which had escaped from their yard, http://www.opposingviews.com/i/pit-bull-attacks-baby-3rd-attack-in-san-diego-in-1-week