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Michigan dogs: Jogger killed in cane corso mauling, dog owner facing charges

 A cane corso waits to compete in the Westminster Dog Show on February 11, 2014
A cane corso waits to compete in the Westminster Dog Show on February 11, 2014
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

A fatal dog attack in Michigan left a man dead Wednesday. Police say a jogger killed by two cane corso dogs are implicated in previous non-fatal attacks. Now, the animal's owner is facing charges in the Michigan dog attack, according to a July 25 Fox News report.

The victim in the deadly dog attack is identified as Craig Sytsma, 46, a resident of Livonia. Wednesday evening he decided to go for a jog in Metamora Township, an area about an hour's drive from Detroit. The jogging path is a busy area frequented by runners, walkers, bikers, and other recreational users.

Suddenly, the Michigan man was attacked by two dogs, which locked onto his body in a vicious manner and didn't let go. A neighbor mowing his grass had just waved to the jogger earlier and was shocked at the eerie scene when he made another pass moments later.

After seeing the two massive dogs mauling the man in the Michigan neighborhood, the resident fetched a gun and fired shots in an attempt to scare off the animals. He managed to graze one of the unleashed dogs with a shot, but it was too late. Paramedics transferred the mauling victim to a local hospital, but he was pronounced dead a short time later from severe dog bites.

He was jogging, doing what everybody else does out there, running and riding bikes," Metamora Township police Officer Sean Leathers said.

With no wallet or billfold on his person when first responders arrived, police did not make a positive identification of the victim until the following day. A fellow worker became worried when they arrived to work Thursday and observed Stysma's car was still parked on the premises. Police were called and eventually made the connection.

After the Michigan jogger died from two dogs involved in the mauling, sources said animals -- possibly the same two -- from the same address of the owner facing charges, were involved in two previous attacks.

April Smith of Oxford was one of those victims, who said she and her sister were walking along a path two years ago when one of the same dogs attacked her. She suffered three serious bite wounds in that encounter. And when Michigan woman heard of the jogger's death from the dogs, she said this:

I cannot believe this happened to someone. I'm not mad at the dogs; I'm so upset with the owners. I thought something would be done with these dogs, but nothing was done. Nothing was ever done. Those dogs are vicious. It's not a joke."

However, this time it seems the dogs and owner will face harsh consequences from this week's fatality. "They’re a public threat. They're beyond rehabilitation," said Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office Det. Sgt. Jason Parks.

The cane corso dogs, often confused with bull mastiffs, are Italian breeds meant to hunt wild boars. Fully grown, they can weigh as much as 100 pounds and are equipped with solid muscle.

Sadly, the dead Michigan jogger leaves behind three children after the dog attack. According to reports, he's divorced.

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