http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/0119 ... /83518.htm
Man sentenced after ordering pit bull to bite
By Elizabeth Dinan
PORTSMOUTH - A Portsmouth man pleaded guilty to a criminal mischief charge, admitting he commanded his unlicensed and unvaccinated pit bull to bite another man during a July 11 fracas.
Paul Olsen, 24, of 201 Echo Ave., was sentenced by Judge Sawako Gardner to 30 days in the Rockingham County House of Corrections, with all of it suspended providing he remain free of arrest for one year. He was also fined $500, with $150 suspended.
Following Olsen’s Tuesday court appearance, his defense attorney, Robert Watkins, said Olsen’s brindle pit bull, Toby, bit the victim, "reluctantly."
"Apparently, because the dog is so good-natured, he didn’t want to get in a fight," said Watkins. "(Olsen) probably would’ve been better off with a poodle."
Additional $50 fines for each of two counts of reckless conduct were also imposed for the judge’s guilty findings that Olsen punched out the rear passenger window of a 2001 Audi, driven by a man he fought with before the dog attack. Gardner also ordered Olsen to pay the dog bite victim $100 in restitution for medical bills incurred for a series of rabies shots.
Watkins said Olsen was "very cooperative" with police when he provided a full confession and a description of the brawl and bite. The fight, said the defense attorney, began on Echo Avenue after a car pulled up behind Olsen’s as he was exiting it.
Yelling escalated to Olsen punching out the Audi window and a physical altercation with the other man, said Watkins. At that point, Olsen went into his home, and "in hindsight," said Watkins, he "would’ve chosen to stay there."
Instead, he brought out Toby and commanded him to attack.
Olsen’s case was scheduled for a Jan. 17 trial, but during a negotiated agreement with the prosecution, he admitted guilt to the criminal mischief charge in exchange for one reckless conduct count being dropped.
Watkins said Toby the pit bull is now living with Olsen’s brother in Eliot, Maine.