Keith Fynan had come out of his house in response to calls for help only to see a pit bull rush at him.
By the time a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene of the reported dog bite incident at 70 Rolling Fern Drive in Palm Coast the afternoon of Feb. 7, the dog was lifeless and Fynan was injured and laying down at the door to his house.
Fynan, 60, a resident on the street, was holding a tan-colored pit bull that he said had just bitten him and a 12-year-old child who was walking home from the bus stop.
A deputy took control of the situation as paramedics tended to Fynan’s injuries. He had several small puncture wounds on his left calf, according to a sheriff’s report. The dog had no collar and no other identification.
A parent who had picked up her children from the bus stop at Rolling Sands Drive was driving home when she noticed the pit bull on the side of the road. She told deputies she then saw the dog take off running toward several of the children walking home from the bus stop. The dog then jumped on the 12-year-old child and pinned him to the ground, according to the witness. The parent drove her car up to the boy, enabling him to get in her car. The boy had “several small puncture wounds on the left side of his face and left lower leg,” according to the report. The parent then began honking her horn to let other children and others know that a dog was on the loose, biting people.
Fynan was sitting at home when he heard the honking. He walked outside and heard a woman yelling for help–then noticed the pit bull running toward him. The dog at first sniffed his leg, then bit him on the left calf. Fynan told deputies “he grabbed the dog and pinned it to the ground as his wife called 911.” He kept the dog pinned until deputies arrived. By then, the dog was dead.
The 12-year-old boy’s father was contacted and responded to AdventHealth Palm Coast, where the boy was taken for treatment. Stephanie Hawkins of Flagler Animal Control took custody of the dog and began an investigation.
Sheriff’s deputies located the dog’s owner–Tarrance Morton, 46, of 3 Rolling Place (spelled with an a in the report). He’d been driving around the neighborhood, inquiring to people whether they’d seen a tan pit bull. A deputy showed him a picture of the animal, which Morton recognized. Morton told the deputy he’d left his dog in the fenced-in backyard so it could relieve itself, but the dog got loose and ran off. He claimed the dog had never been aggressive.
None of the victims had life-threatening injuries.
Yeah, that’s why the dog had no tags or other forms of identification–because the owner was so responsible. Uh-huh.
Mary Fusco says
So sad for these poor animals. How can a dog “get loose” from a fenced in yard? How long was he out to relieve himself? I have a fenced in back yard and also walk my dog. When he goes out, I wait for him to finish, watch him and then let him back in the house. People who say their dog dug under the fence, the dog was out there unsupervised for hours. I’ve owned dogs and cats for 50 years and still cannot understand why some people have them. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt.
Annette Engel says
The so called fence is a white picket two foot high fence. I live next door and have cats. I’m furious. Only responsible people should adopt pit bulls. Those poor people!
Dogs like to lay out in the sun
You should warn neighbors who have cats if you are going to put a pit bull in an unfenced yard! Terry, I am not happy with you at all. I am sorry that you lost your pet, but if you get another pit bull, please let me know so I can keep my cats in and/or move!
You should keep your cats in anyway. They are dangerous to birds and it’s also dangerous for the cat. Cats are not native animals and shouldn’t be outside unless leashed.
Gus Rumpf says
So the dog is the victim?
Ana Graves says
Honestly I feel more sorry for the poor victims of pit bulls. People need to stop buying pit bulls. The science is super clear on pit bulls being bred to be fighting dogs that don’t just “bite”, they attack to kill in most cases. A 5 year old child and a young 28 day old infant both were savagely killed by pit bulls just last week.
Vincent Lyon says
Actually, the science is clear that they are inherently no more or less dangerous than any breed of similar size. That said, all dogs should be properly trained and properly enclosed. To do otherwise is irresponsible, whether the dog weighs 5 lbs or 80.
Debbie Bell says
Pits, bully dogs are intentionally bred to mature to become game insane.
The true experts of unprovoked prolonged, suicidal, neutral ground, deadly dog aggression are the dog fighters. The kill or die trying type of dog fighter aren’t using Dobermans or GSD, because these dogs were never selectively bred to START, to TURN ON, to have the drive to kill their own kind/ family. The dog men all use bully dogs because bully dogs are not normal domesticated dogs.
“Pit bulls are misunderstood.” Your’s pit bull might be “cold” and never become good at mauling or killing but because good pit bulls often do not give warning before attacking, you won’t know it’s happening until it’s too late. If you think pit bulls are normal dogs, you don’t understand pit bulls.
Pit bulls were, and more importantly still are, bred to become Ted Bundy dogs.
If you have not yet witnessed a game insane pit bull go from playing to slaying, you don’t understand pit bulls/ bully dogs.
The entire breed needs to be exterminated.
I hope your talking about Humans because they are the only “breed” at fault here. What kind of an owner leaves a dog unsupervised in a backyard!!?? DOGS SHOULD BE WALKED ON LEASHES TO USE THE BATHROOM, not let loose in a yard unsupervised
Oh here we go; more people with no common sense. We have two dogs we let go out on their own on five acres. We don’t worry because they are both small and even if they wanted to bite some one they could easily be fended off. One is five pounds and one is 35. A pit bull, or whatever euphemism you want to use, has powerful jaws that a small child or person has no chance to beat off of them. Yes, all breeds can and do bite, but when’s the last time a child was killed by a yorkie? Pit bulls can and do kill, with much greater frequency than your average toy poodle.
I can leave my dog unsupervised in my fenced in yard with no problem. Then again, I’m smart enough not to own a pit that can get loose and go on a rampage.
Pitbull lover says
The Geode says
FOH, “Dave”. People leave dogs in back yards alone ALL THE TIME. I get so tired of sanctimonious people who value animals over humans. I am also surprised by how these same people manage to live in a world ruled by humans without killing themselves.
I imagine “pit-bulls” and other DANGEROUS DOG BREEDS are cool to own – until it poses a danger to society or mauls your face off
Mary Fusco says
The Geode, dogs do not belong in yards by themselves. BTW, I value my animals which is why I supervise them all of the time. Even though we have a fenced yard, I DO NOT leave them outside alone. All breeds of dogs need to be under control. It is the humans that don’t have a brain in their freakin head. My dogs live inside. If you don’t want dog inside, don’t get one. However, how can we expect people to control their animals when they can’t even control their kids.
Ned Faith says
Your precious little ‘pibble’ is an animal that has been bred to kill. The breed should be killed off.
Vincent Lyon says
Technically bred to kill other dogs. Pitts that showed any aggression to humans were put down. The breed was designed to be extremely human friendly and extremely dog-aggressive.
Though that’s only in the past 40 years. Prior to that they were just family pets – like Petie in the Little Rascals or as the symbol of America during WWII (more often even than the eagle).
Pit type dogs are no more dangerous (and no less dangerous) than other breeds of the same size. German Shepherds bite more and send more people to the hospital but I don’t see anyone calling to eliminate that breed.
Your statement is FALSE.
@ “nomorepitbulls” Please explain to us what breed a so-called pitbull is?
Stop with the nonsense. If this dog did something good, you would be singing the praises of pit bulls. Since it attacked someone, you revert to the “no such thing as a pit bull” excuse.
Any dog that partially or fully descends from one or more of the following: American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Pitbull lover says
No actually they don’t need to be. I’ve had a total of 4. They are loving dogs I have 5 kids in the house including 2 that are under 1 and my pit bull is awesome with them he won’t even look at them the wrong way so please take your negativity somewhere else.
My pit adores my 9 yr old grandson and is overly protective of him. He loves out kitty too. This place is full of miserable people- who hate kids and animals SMH. We all make mistakes , give people the benefit of the doubt first. The chances of anyone getting attacked by a pit bull here are less likely than you getting run over by the local crazy drivers here while your walking your pit🤣😂…
Right? Theres 106 every day killed by vehicles and only one a week by Pit Bull.
Pitbulls aren’t the problem, bad owners are the problem. Any dog can bite.
Sure, and a Chihuahua will cause life-threatening injuries. A Yorkshire Terrier will violently attack a bunch of kids at a school bus stop. A Golden Retriever will reflexively clamp down its jaws and not let go. Oh, wait, all those other good, normal dogs don’t do that!
Pit bulls are part of the problem (the major part, being they are a defective garbage animal bred for fighting). The other part of the problem is moronic pit bull owners who come up with “Any dog can bite” as an excuse for something like what was covered in this article.
Nanny dog? Yeah, right.
Jill Fynan says
I agree.. even though my husband was attacked by a pit bull dont mean we do not like pit bulls..We oun a pit bull and love her so much and . Shes the best dog ever..
Yup. Any dog can bite. But pitbulls can kill.
Agreed. 66% of fatal dog attacks are carried out by pitbulls despite only being 6% of the American dog population. There’s a problem here that people won’t acknowledge.
That man Keith Fynan is a hero. Well done sir and thank you for your bravery.
Jill Fynan says
Thank you.. My husband and i were so afraid he would get loose from our death grip we had on his neck and run off and attack another child..my husband did what he had to do.. Bith my husband and boy got stiches .. I just feel so bad we couldnt help the little boy sooner..
Ana graves says
Even dogs learn their lesson eventually, lady.
Quit defending pit bulls. Next time it’ll be your child or you that gets killed when big 6 foot tall hubby isn’t around to save you. Just saying
And I sincerely hope that never happens, seriously, but you’re playing with fire by owning pit bulls around your kids. Especially after what you witnessed. Stop putting “political correctness” over the safety of your child! You should feel ashamed for that!
You must not read. It isn’t her dog. Her husband saved people from the dog. Read article again, slowly. Look at husbands name in article.
Hope all injured recover well. Sad for that animal given a careless owner.
Jill Fynan says
Thank you .. my husband is recovering well.. were still so sad we had to take the dogs life.. ee hurt real bad..
Ms Morton says
He did not have careless owners. We have had him for 17 years and this is his first time doing anything of the sort. He was loved, cuddled, snuggled his entire 17 years. Our fur baby. He was raised with our other dogs, cats, nieces, nephews, newborns etc. So carry on and mind the business that pays you. Which ISNT this.
So a dog that is kind and lovable and then suddenly attacks to kill? What’s irresponsible are owners that would choose a time bomb as a dog. They are kind and lovable until they aren’t. When was the last time a beagle killed anyone? People should be required to have licenses to own that breed. A loaded gun is safer. Pits are time bombs.
Pitbull lover says
Pitbulls do not have to be put down just be a responsible dog owner People give them bad names any dog can attack you Rockweiler /German Shepherd /Labrador you just hear more about pit bulls I always have my guard up with my pitbull because they’re unpredictable but with that said that is with any dog you have to be a responsible person to have these type dog there are dog Like little ankle biter‘s that hurt as well that you call so sweet
Any other stupid drivel, “Pitbull lover”? Why do more and more police departments now make it a matter of policy to shoot ANY approaching pit bull that they cannot warn off? Think about that.
Getting so tired of paying taxes to replace ammunition expended by local police to shoot these worthless pit bulls. Whenever a pit bull is shot, the owner should be required to reimburse the police for the cost of ammunition. Pit bulls are cheap and worthless. Quality personal defense ammunition is not.
Unless you have witnessed such an attack you wouldn’t understand. Being inside and attended changes nothing when a dog decide to turn…..it just means the mauling/death happened inside supervised instead of outside unsupervised. They blind/deaf to everything but their target.
I am truely a dog person and have. 7+ dogs at any given time. I have seen the most fights with bully breeds. They are also the hardest to break up. A normal dog fight might last a couple of minutes and do little damage before a dog bows out. Bullys will fight till they are exhausted and may need medical treatment. I just broke up a fight last week between a 3yr old bulldog and 13yr old pit with a heart condition. The only dogs that I have that will fight hard at that age is bullys! I have had personal experience twice with a dog attacking a child.
A chow raised in my home from a pup attacked my 3yr old. I addopted a pit bull who mauled a neighbors son 2 months later. Both dogs attacked for no reason just a straight run for the child and did not respond to our voices or being hit/kicked. I know a lady who had to shoot her farm dog 4 times before he quit mauling a goat. She said after the 4th shot he stopped and looked at her. She said he looked so confused before falling over dead. Clearly someone being present when it happens is better than just the dog and victim but don’t delude yourself into thinking the owner being present will somehow prevent an attack or that the owner has any more control than a stranger at that point. The fact is the owner is often attacked for trying to intervene, whatever domesticates a dog is gone when that ‘switch’ is flipped. I love bullys but I recognize they have genetic traits that make them far more dangerous when that ‘switch’ is flipped including it being harder to get them out of that mode when it does.
There is a difference between a bite and attack. A bite is often a dogs warning to stay away or stop what you are doing and is not true aggression. That being said a dog that repeatedly bites is a warning and may lead to an attack.
An attack is an active attempt to harm, kill or assert dominance and is aggression. I love dogs and have bullys but there should NEVER be a second chance for a dog that ‘attacks’ and is capable of killing a person. This could be said of a small dog that attacks if an infant is in the home. Having taken in so many unwanted dogs in my life I have been faced with this twice, a chow and a pit bull. I owned them 20yrs apart but both attacked (not bit) a child and it broke my heart but both were euthanized. Both were capable of killing and had they been unsupervised they might very well have.
One should keep in mind the legal implications of their ‘known aggressive’ dog killing someone. A local couple was charged with manslaughter when the constable went to serve them court papers on their aggressive dogs (rotti and dobi) and the dogs pushed past the door and killed the constable. This also ushered in the zero tollerance law requiring the removal of the dog from the county or euthanasia for any ‘aggresive breed’ that bites anyone.
CB from PC says
This is an irresponsible owner.
No tags or identification.
Could it be the dog was so much in pain from lack of a Vet visit…EVER, that it finally snapped?
Make the owner pay for the medical bills.
Slap a lien on anything he owns if he balks.
Obviously, the owner doesn’t give a shit enough to maintain his property, so the dog escapes.
Attacks humans and dies.
We are owners of a pit bull mix pulled from a shelter at 4 months.
The dog is now 5 years old.
He is exercised, socialized, trained and given plenty of affection.
HOWEVER, he needs to be shown from time to time who is Alpha.
Anyone owning one of this breed needs to be prepared to provide consistent structure, socialization and discipline.
No such thing as bad dogs, only stupid irresponsible owners who should stick to hamsters as pets.
You must live under a rock. Pit bulls do this sort of thing. A LOT.
They also get shot. A LOT. There are good reasons for that.
I read a story about an 8 year old pitbull raised by a loving family that killed their child. You’re never 100% safe until well… never. There’s always some idiot with a pitbull so you don’t even have to own one to become a statistic.
Put it up for adoption to eliminate the risk of being another owner who’s had their pitbull for x years and “It just snapped! I don’t know what happened! It’s never shown ANY signs of aggression before! OMG now I have to bury my child. I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED.” You would be much better off with a hamster.
Well done sir. You both saved those that were being attacked now and those who would have been attacked when the dog was rehomed out of state in order to lose it’s bite history and it got loose again. If a dog snaps once and starts attacking random people it will do so again even if a behavior specialist says it is safe to rehome.
Most I see shouldnt have children let alone Pets.
Actually we have kids & pets. And treat our pets like our kids. Always have always will. But thanks for your bs opinion. Thanks Steve.
tom m. says
When is this town going to outlaw these animals and or require licensing with training of owners. I hope this owner will be convicted of negligent assault and imprisoed.
Annette Engel says
I just found out Palm Coast does not require 6 foot fences for leaving dogs out unattended. For all the stupid rules and regulations Palm Coast has and they don’t require a fence or leash if the dog is on the owners property. I got a citation on my garage when I left my truck in my lawn for a half hour after washing it. But, it’s okay to leave your pit bull or rottweiler unattended on your property. WTF!
Great PitOwner says
Pits are great dogs when they have great owners. They’re dangerous dogs when their owners are IRRESPONSIBLE! Blame the owner, not the dog.
Willy Boy says
“Small puncture wounds” – Oh I’d say ’bout the size of a canine’s canine.
Gary R says
List of fatal dog attacks in the United States https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_dog_attacks_in_the_United_States
Lots of pit bulls on the list! Either pit bulls are dangerous or there are a lot of irresponsible owners.
why did the dog die?
Pam Rispin says
Either Mr Fynan managed to put his weight on the perfect spot, to deprive the dog’s brain of oxygen, or the dog died of pitbull attack frenzy. I’ve read numerous stories where the pitbull just keels over, after an attack has been halted, because the excitement is just too much for a possibly genetically faulty heart valve. Hundreds of years of trying to interbreed for the perfect traits of a blood sport animal can also seriously focus hereditary health issues.
Brian Cunningham says
Pit bulls have been responsible for 60%+ of all dog attack deaths every year for the past 10 years running. Over 50% of pit bull attacks involve family members. Three children 5 or younger have been killed by family pet pit bulls so far this year. This story includes the two most frequent quotes related to pit bull attacks: “It never showed any sign of aggression before” and “I don’t know how it got loose.” Pit bulls are known as great family pets (until they maim or kill someone).
Kerryn Fynan says
I would like to speak on behalf of my Father. My Dad is a Hero yes 100% putting that aside for a second, He had to do something that was a very traumatic and sad for him. He has to live with that moment for the rest of his life. My family and I are Pitbull lovers! Me being a owner of the most loving, caring and sweetest pitbull my baby loves her Pop Pop as much as he loves her. Humans are the breed..we make the decision of how we want our dogs to act and how kind and loving we want them to be. This “Tan Pitbull” was a dog a dog who was missing love and affection and proper training. According to the actions of this dog on that day he was more than likely neglected and beaten by men. I wish this Breed the Breed that my family and I absolutely love was respected and loved more! Let’s try to make a difference.
#Pitbull #dontbullymybreed #lovemydad
Get real. Nobody with possessing any facilities of cognitive thought can figure how you can say the following with a straight face: “Humans are the breed..we make the decision of how we want our dogs to act and how kind and loving we want them to be.”
There are countless attacks where the pit bull, in a loving family environment, mauled and killed family members to include helpless infants and small children. By your reasoning, applied to the above pit bull attacks, giving loving care to a pit bull is a sure path to lethal disaster.
There are numerous recorded instances of the family pit bull that “somehow got loose” and attacked a line of children waiting at a bus stop. I am determined to never let that happen if I can, and when it almost happened yesterday morning, I did not have to bother with getting out of my vehicle to stop that pit bull. It was definitely a gorgeous animal, with a brindle coat. Today was trash pickup in my area, and as of now, that pit bull is in the landfill west of our city.
If you actually “care” about pit bulls, you would quit promoting them as animals suitable for a family environment, and spell out the truth, with requirements for containing them and preventing them from ever attacking. You do NONE of that.
Kelsey Fynan says
My father keith fynan is amazing and brave and feels terrible for how the situation ended but he did what had to be done unfortunately and i agree this is all on the owners for not being responsible and neglecting there dog , im sorry for your loss but this is all on you for not caring for you dog properly and that just truly horrible sad. but pit bulls sadly got a bad name because of them scumbags out there that raise them to fight and be nasty, beat them but if cared for and raised correctly they can be so amazing like our pit bull Pumpkin, She is my 2 1/2 yr old best friend she is cared for and loved and trained right we are truly blessed , but dad i love you and thank you for being so brave and amazing.! Here are some photos for my baby and our pit bull .!!!
a person cannot use the defense of necessity if he or she used force or deadly force against the animal, after the danger from the threatened harm had passed. In other words, a person who survives the animal attack cannot go seek revenge against the animal that attacked him or her.
Case by case analysis needed
Deciding whether it was necessary and your actions were reasonable will be on a case by case basis. If your actions were found not be necessary because you could have walked back inside your house you could face criminal charges and certainly civil law liability. Furthermore, if your actions were not reasonable because you could have used some other kind of force that was available to you to prevent the attack you may also find yourself facing criminal or civil liability.
“…after the danger from the threatened harm had passed”
The “danger from the threatened harm” never passed. Did any pit bull promoters show up with their break sticks? Did any of them show up with a muzzle and rigid, lasso-type ratcheting leads to stop the pit bull? Did pit bull promoters do anything to stop this latest pit bull attack? No, pit bull promoters never show up on site. They will appear on social media to blame victims of pit bull attack.
Mr. Fynan had to pin down the pit bull since, as long as it was loose, the pit bull was not ceasing its attacks on the school children. He did this in a manner that prevented the pit bull from inflicting further serious injuries on his own person. Pit bull could have simply trotted back to where it lived and not attacked multiple people, but it did not. Ergo, it is dead. Mr. Fynan’s actions were 100% necessary as long as the pit bull was loose, and as long as the owner never appeared to stop the pit bull.
My Fynan did not return with a bow and drill that pit bull with an arrow. Likewise, he did not return with a length of 1.5-inch industrial rebar and beat it to death. He did not poison it. He pinned it down.
Of course, pit bull promoters will say, “Oh, we have a special physical contact maneuver that restrains a pit bull, eliminates chance of injury to person stopping the pit bull attack, and assures the pit bull is not injured as well.”
Most police agencies, knowing the behavior of pit bulls, shoot them if they cannot be warned away by voice or noise. What drives this law enforcement policy shift across the continent, namely to shoot approaching pit bulls rather than risk serious injury to our police? We want our police officers to be able to return home every night without injury, and if a pit bull is approaching, the risk of serious injury increases exponentially as distance decreases.
You have got to be kidding! You were not there! My husband saw most of it. There were THREE CHILDREN in danger when this brave man came out of his house to SAVE THEM!!! Only one child was hurt ONLY because he took the dogs attention away from them so another neighbor could get the children into her car. You need to find out the facts before spouting off about something you know nothing about! Ridiculous!!!
Frank Bennett says
I take my 65 lb male foxhound with me to Tractor Supply, Pet Smart and even Central Park. I mind my own business and my dog wears a tactical harness and a choker minding his own business. I am always in control of my dog. At each venue while just walking I have been charged by a Pit Bull because the owner did not seem to care. Scary!
What most people don’t realize is that pit bulls are not all alike. If someone has had a few and they were all good ones (like the majority), then they say it must be some other cause when a “lovingly raised” pit bull attacks. Some pit bulls have mental problems; even a type of epilepsy where they may hallucinate. This may be from blood lines from dogo Argentino or one of the other breeds from down south. This is especially true where the dog is the product of incest; son with mother, or brother and sister; which so often happens with poorer backyard breeders. The pit bull may see you as a prey animal or wild boar. Time after time we read of some pit bull looking intently at someone it usually is familiar with, and then suddenly attacking. Or after it goes into “prey mode” it doesn’t know friend from foe. After it calms down it often looks bewildered and wags its tail. The only reasonable way to clean up the “breed” is to put to sleep all animals that attack and badly damage another dog without provocation; and especially so with ones that attack humans. Time and again we read of “there have been prior unprovoked attacks on other dogs or humans,” when we read of a pit bull that again got loose and this time mauled or killed some child.
susie marie says
the cities are full of thousands of wild coyotes ,they never attack people , they might attack a small dog or cat,but they keep their distance, but a loose pitbull ,it does not matter how well the [pitbull is trained,a loose pitbull will attack ,maybe even murder you, 1-2 or 3 loose pitbulls is very deadly dangerous, coyotes are wild and pretty much harmless to humans ,but a pet pitbull loose oh good luck, you will need it . anyways stay safe from covid and watch out for loose pitbull animals