Man, 21, mauled to death by pit bulls in California home

Posted at 5:51 PM, Oct 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-11 17:51:29-04

MODESTO, Calif. – Police said a Modesto, California family's two pit bull pets killed a young man Monday who had been staying the night with them.

The victim's sister told KTXL her brother's name was Dustin Bryan.

Still too emotional and too in shock, she and other relatives did not want to speak out about their loss and what is now a police investigation. The Modesto Bee reports that the 21-year-old victim was staying with family members, who found him around 7 a.m.

"It was horrific enough for our officers to call and treat this as a suspicious death. So investigators did respond to just ensure ... what was going on," said Modesto Police Sgt. Kalani Souza.

Police believe 13-year-old Beze and 5-year-old Saxon attacked Bryan in the upper body around 7 a.m., leaving him down and unresponsive.

Now, the dogs are in quarantine at the Stanislaus County Animal Services Agency.

“It's not a good situation at all,” said Stanislaus County Animal Services Executive Director Annette Patton. “We really feel for the family because my understanding is there's been no aggression shown from these dogs. It's just a very unique situation and a sad situation."

While in quarantine, Saxon and Beze will be tested for rabies and monitored by the staff veterinarian for any aggressive tendencies.

“The animals need to be separate from the public and they need to be quarantined for 10 days. So, we have a lockdown situation here at the shelter, which means it is locked behind closed doors so we don't put anybody at harm or at risk," Patton said.

Meanwhile, police were trying to figure out how deadly harm could have come to a young man who was a frequent visitor to the Modesto home and presumably had been around the dogs before.

"We do not know how much interaction he's had with the dogs up to this point, if they were kept separate. We are still investigating all of that," Souza said.

There has been no word on any charges in this case.

An autopsy has been scheduled for sometime in the next few days.