East Bay News
Felony charges filed against Concord pit bull owner
CONCORD, CA (KGO) -- A Concord man whose pit bulls mauled a child to death last week made his first court appearance on Monday.
Steven Hayashi did not enter a plea, but he did he make a statement, despite a warning from the court about caring for his step-grandson.
Against the judge's recommendation, Hayashi made a statement in open court in Martinez. It's an objection of sorts to the two counts of felony child endangerment charges against him in the mauling death of Hayashi's step-grandson Jacob Bisbee.
"I did not expect him to go in the garage. If I did, I would have been able to go and prevent it. I watched him every day when I am in the home in the morning. I changed his diapers and fed him," he said.
Besides child endangerment, the 52-year-old is charged with possession of a vicious animal that caused great bodily injury or death.
At least three of Hayashi's five pit bulls mauled the toddler to death last Thursday morning after the boy wandered into the family garage.
Hayashi told ABC7 Jacob had no prior problems with the animals, but also revealed that one of the dogs had killed a family Chihuahua.
"The fact that the dog has a history is a central fact in this case. One of the potential charges here is maintaining a mischievous animal and you have to prove that the owner knew of the dog's vicious propensity," ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson said.
Since Jacob's death, Hayashi has done several interviews and has now made a statement on the record in open court without an attorney.
"The first rule with a criminal defendant is shut your mouth. Mr. Hayashi has already made some substantial admissions that may come back to haunt him at trial," Johnson said.
A public defender will be appointed to represent Hayashi before his next court date on Aug. 5. In the meantime, he's being held on $120,000 bail.
animal, child death, concord, east bay news, laura anthony
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