Police: Aggressive dogs bite Newport hotel guests

A pack of three adult pit bulls bit a mother and son early Friday south of Corona del Mar before being euthanized by authorities.

The attack near Newport Coast Drive and East Coast Highway occurred at 5:36 a.m. The victims were guests at Marriott's Newport Coast Villas, said Newport Beach Police Sgt. Todd Hughes.

They were taken to Hoag Hospital with minor injuries, said Jennifer Schulz, a Fire Department spokeswoman. It was unclear if all three dogs bit the mother and son, or how many bites they had.

Eventually, the pit bulls were located, but when one officer got out of his car, the dogs advanced as if to attack.

"He retreated back in the vehicle," Hughes said.

According to a police statement, all the dogs aggressively attacked the vehicle, which caused additional officers and the police's Animal Control unit to respond to the location.

"The officers intended to try and safely corral and capture the animals," a police statement said, "[but] responding officers were unable to exit their vehicles due to the aggressive behavior of the dogs."

Hughes said the three dogs were euthanized in the interest of public safety.

"Officers were not only concerned for their own safety, but more importantly this location is frequented by joggers, cyclists, golfers and many others," according to a police statement.

No officers were injured.

The dogs had no tags, and their bodies were scanned but no chips were found, Hughes said.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident by interviewing the victims and examining the dogs' bodies, which were taken to the Orange County Animal Shelter.

Police are trying to find the dogs' owner. Anyone with information is asked to call Animal Control at (949) 622-2608.

The attack was unusual, Hughes said, because police had not heard of other feral dog bites or sightings of packs.

"We are not aware of a wild dog problem," Hughes said. "We have no idea who owned them or where they came from."


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