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Pit Bull Owner Arrested On Superior Court Warrant After Dogs Attacked Old Man

FREDERIKSTED — A Clifton Hill man was arrested on Wednesday after seven pit bulls he allegedly owned viciously attacked an elderly neighbor, forcing him to get emergency medical treatment off island, authorities said.

Elson A. Jones, 47, was arrested at 6:20 a.m. Wednesday and charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, registration, confinement and confiscation of dangerous dogs, ferocious, vicious or mischievous animals and dogs running at large, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

On September 4, 2019 at around 7:00 p.m., the 911 Emergency Call Center received a call from a concerned citizen who reported that a man in Estate Clifton Hill was being attacked by several dogs that belonged to Jones, who lived close by.

“Officers found an 84-year-old man with multiple dog bite wounds about the body,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said. “Preliminary investigation revealed that the man was in his yard when the pack of dogs attacked him.”

Neighbors heard the man screaming and the commotion of dogs attacking and went to his aid to defend the man from the attack.

The old man sustained multiple severe bite wounds to his feet, leg, hands and face and was taken to the Juan Luis Hospital for treatment. He was later airlifted to Puerto Rico for further medical treatment.

Jones voluntarily surrendered the dogs to the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center.

The dogs were removed from the area and transported to the VIPD K-9 Facility for the night.

The dogs were eventually humanely euthanized due to their dangerous potential and at Jones’ request.

Bail for Jones was set at $10,000. Unable to post bail, he was remanded to the custody of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections (BOC) pending an advice-of-rights hearing.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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