ROSEVILLE (WWJ) – Criminal charges have been filed after a dog mauling left a Roseville couple with what police described as “horrific” wounds.

The Macomb County Prosecutors Office says, after reviewing the facts and evidence, it has charged dog owner Robert Laughton, 29, with two counts of harboring a vicious animal causing injury.

Each count is a four-year felony.

Roseville police responded Sunday night to a home on Normal Street, near 13 Mile Rd. and Kelly, to find a 52-year-old woman outside covered in blood, with numerous and severe bites to her arms, face and head. Inside the house they found the woman’s 51-year-old boyfriend, unconscious and “bleeding profusely from his wounds.”

The women told police her son’s pit bull, “Bruce” — which he had bought on Craigslist — had attacked after she let it out of its crate. Police used a stun gun on the “extremely aggressive” animal before it was captured.

Both victims were hospitalized in critical condition.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith says, two weeks ago the pit bull bit the same couple. In that incident, the dog nicked the man’s face and the woman was bitten on the arm, which needed 30 stitches.

For that incident, Laughton was ticketed for harboring a vicious animal and not having a dog license for the pit bull. The dog was then quarantined at home.

“You know, there’s a ten-day period of quarantine, and at the conclusion of that ten days (the dog was) to be turned over to the animal shelter for euthanization,” Smith explained. “So the dog was going to be euthanized at the conclusion of that ten-day quarantine period.”

Laughton turned himself in to Roseville police Thursday afternoon and was arraigned in 39th District Court. Bond was set at $5,000.

Meanwhile, police say the injured couple is doing better. Smith says Michael Mager lost the tips of his ears and nearly lost both arms in the attack that severed an artery. He was airlifted from the scene Sunday to University of Michigan Hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery.

Mager is now listed in serious condition, police say, with several more surgeries needed. The woman, Suzette Laughton, is in good condition.

The dog has been euthanized.

“We all love animals here and we have prosecuted animal abuse cases to the fullest extent of the law,” Smith said. “Having said that, in these cases in which you own a dog you owe it to everybody to ensure that they are safe around your dog, and that clearly did not take place in this case.”

Laughton will be back in court for a probable cause conference May 17. A preliminary examination in the case was scheduled for May 24.


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