Police searching for man they say fled with dog after it attacked woman at Sandy park

A snowboarder hikes through the snow at Flat Iron Mesa Park in Sandy on March 4, 2018. Police say a dog attacked a woman who was sledding in the park on Friday. (Jacob Wiegand, Deseret News)

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SANDY – A dog owner fled after the dog attacked a woman at Flat Iron Mesa Park in Sandy while she was sledding Friday night, police said.

Bradley Mitton, the woman’s father, said the man saw what happened, picked up the dog and ran away.

“It fully attacked them,” said Mitton.

He said the dog bit her face and head, and left scratches and bite marks all over her face. She was treated on site by emergency services and went to the emergency room; She was released from the hospital early Saturday morning.

Mitton said they hope she doesn’t need cosmetic surgery.

The “medium-sized black dog” also bit others in the park, but since people were wearing coats and heavy clothing, most of them were not injured.

Mitton said his daughter’s own dog had been euthanized the Saturday before for health reasons; She went tobogganing in the park with her friends trying to cheer her up.

They think the dog that attacked them belongs to someone named Steve, Mitton said, after hearing someone in the park say, “It’s Steve’s dog again.” He tried to find the dog owner on Facebook.

Sgt. Clayton Swensen of the Sandy Police Department said fire and medical officers reacted to the crime scene after being contacted around 9:30 p.m.

Swensen said dogs have a primal instinct that can cause them to chase, attack, or bite when something is moving at high speed, like someone on a sled. This is one of the reasons for the leash law in parks, and he said that there is a sign in all of Sandy city parks reminding people of the leash laws.

He also said these incidents are why dogs are registered with the city; The registrations allow them to regulate rabies vaccinations and be aware of the animal’s health in such situations.

Police are looking for information to identify the dog owner and anyone with information is asked to contact Sandy Police at 801-568-7200.

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