A 20-year-old man was mauled in the face by a dog while raising money for an anti-drug abuse program outside an Eagle Rock sandwich shop, and now his family is asking for help finding the dog’s owners.
The attack occurred Thursday evening outside Jersey Mike’s at 2601 Colorado Blvd., near the Glendale border.
The victim’s father, Brian Alli, shared graphic photos of his son’s wounds on Facebook, saying the dog attacked unprovoked. His son Ian is a dog lover who ended up in surgery, Alli wrote.
“My son is now hospitalized and will need plastic surgery tonight and into the morning,” Alli wrote about 9 p.m. Thursday.
“The one thing we need is to get the word out and get the owner and the dog to help him by coming forward,” Alli wrote later in the night. "They need to test the dog and obviously, get it off the street."
Alli’s son Ian said two women in their 20s had the dog, but another witness told police it was a man.
Los Angeles Police Department Officer Aareon Jefferson told KTLA a call came in at 6:55 p.m. Thursday for a report of a dog bite. The victim had been soliciting money for the drug abuse prevention program D.A.R.E. when the dog owner gave him $10 and left.
About two hours later, the dog owner returned with a pit bull on a leash, Jefferson said. The victim asked if the dog was friendly, and the owner assented.
Then the victim got down on one knee and touched the dog, which bit him in the face, Jefferson said.
"They told him it was a pit bull mix that they got from a rescue shelter, and he said 'Is it friendly?' and they said, 'Very friendly,'" Brian Alli told KTLA Friday.
On Friday Ian Alli explained from his hospital bed what happened seconds before he was attacked by the dog.
"She rubbed my hand twice and then the dog lunged at me," Ian said.
A witness who happened to be a lifeguard was nearby when the dog attack happened and rendered aid to Ian Alli.
"She came to his rescue," Brian Alli said. "I would like to thank her."
Officers canvassed the area but didn’t find the dog owner, Jefferson said. Animal control services were notified, he added. The family is waiting on surveillance video.
Ian Alli was being treated at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Brian Alli said. He suffered wounds to his lips, face, cheek and teeth. He was undergoing extensive plastic surgery on Friday night.
A GoFundMe account has been set up by Ian's parents to pay for his medical bills.
"Since he is just starting out in life with a Fiancee and new born baby, this will drain the little money they have saved," the page states. "Plastic Surgery will be required for his lip. His face will most likely be scarred for life. "