General Crime

* Steven Hayashi has been charged with felony child endangerment and allowing a vicious animal to be at large in Concord

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Prosecutors filed felony charges today against the owner of three pit bulls that fatally mauled a toddler in Concord last week. Concord resident Steven Hayashi, 52, has been charged with felony child endangerment and allowing a vicious animal to be at large, also a felony, in connection with the death of 2-year-old Jacob Bisbee, Hayashi’s step-grandson, Deputy District Attorney John Cope said today. Hayashi will likely be arraigned this afternoon in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez. The attack happened at the family’s home at 1785 Trailcreek Court at about 8:45 a.m. Thursday, Concord police said. Jacob was at home with his grandmother, his uncle and his 4-year-old brother when he walked into the garage and the three dogs attacked him, Concord police Lt. Jim Lardieri said. Two other pit bulls were in the yard but were not involved in the attack, Lardieri said. Hayashi said in a jailhouse interview on Friday that the door to the garage was usually locked with a deadbolt that Jacob couldn’t reach. The boy had never gone into the garage before, he said, but on Thursday morning he somehow got in. “By the time my wife found him, the dogs had already finished their attack. It was too late,” Hayashi said. Jacob was rushed by ambulance to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy found that he died from skull fractures and severe bleeding from multiple dog bites, according to the Contra Costa County coroner’s office. Hayashi said his dogs were raised to be house pets and all of them were gentle except for a male named “Kiwi”, the largest of the group. He said he didn’t trust Kiwi and never let him around the children. The dog had showed previous signs of aggression, he said. About a year ago, the dogs attacked and killed a Chihuahua. Although nobody saw the attack, H ayashi blamed Kiwi for the small dog’s death. Hayashi said that when Jacob, his brother and their father moved in with them about a year ago his wife had asked him to get rid of the dogs, but he loved them and didn’t have the heart to put them down. Now, he said, he wishes he had gotten rid of them. “I am not one of those people who breeds dogs for fighting or for a pack,” Hayashi said. “These are supposed to be house pets.” Contra Costa Animal Services officers seized all five dogs after the attack and have since destroyed them, Hayashi said.
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