A November 2023 pit bull attack at Baker Beach has gone pretty much unpunished, as SF Animal Care & Control does not have jurisdiction over the area that is a national park, leaving a dog attack victim flummoxed.
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Today’s Chronicle has the story of a November 9, 2023 pit bull attack at Baker Beach. In that piece, they speak with 39-year-old real estate agent and standup comic Allison Hooker, who was attacked by a pit bull after a jog, saying the vicious dog was “beelining straight for me” and then launched “straight into biting me.” The attack left Hooker not only rattled, but with with 13 bites, some of which created scars.
“The owner admitted that his dog is trained to attack and may be amused by his dog attacking people,” Hooker said in her complaint to the U.S. Park Police, per the Chronicle. “The owner told me his dog was provoked by my internal struggle or by pulse lasers in me from the CIA.”
And that owner, described as George Jeppson, who lived in a car with Utah plates, got his dog Sky Bear back without consequence after about ten days. And the dog’s stay with SF Animal Care & Control (ACC) was hardly smooth. According to the Chron, Jeppson claimed the dog worked for the CIA, said pit bulls were “used for mind control research,” and his dog was reportedly aggressive toward other animals while in ACC’s care.
Yes, San Francisco has a process for determining the fate of dangerous dogs after they attack, measures ranging from training to muzzles to euthanasia. But this attack happened at Baker Beach, which is technically a national park and therefore federal land. And the Chronicle points to a 2019 legal ruling (regarding another dog attack at Crissy Field) which ruled “the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction” over the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, so therefore local officials cannot levy punishments there.
The Chronicle’s story aims to build awareness about this loophole, but also mentions there are negotiations between local officials and the feds to close the loophole. But the Chronicle’s reports also names numerous agencies in the mix on possible enforcement (U.S. Park Police, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and the Presidio Trust), which is certainly going to make it more complicated to close any loophole.
Related: Woman Convicted In Notorious SF Dog-Mauling Murder Case Gets Denied Parole [SFist]
Image: Dog on the beach. Active pit bull terrier runs on the background of the sea – stock photo (Getty Images)