Slow recovery for victim of pit bull attack

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

RICHMOND — Shawn Jones, the 10-year-old boy mauled to the edge of life by pit bulls, faced an uphill road to recovery as local law authorities continued the search for the animals on Friday. 

Shawn was listed in critical but stable condition at Children’s Hospital Oakland, where he is on a breathing machine, according to hospital spokeswoman Cynthia Romanov. 

The dogs tore off his ears during the Monday evening attack. Other wounds on his face, neck and arms are so severe, doctors said they have not been able to close many of them. 

Shawn rested Friday with family and hospital personnel at his side. 

“We are in the throes right now of trying to save this boy’s life,” said Dr. James Betts, chief of surgery at the hospital. The dogs shook him violently, “like a doll,” Betts added. 

Shawn continues to receive rabies shots because two of the three dogs have not been captured and therefore cannot be tested for the disease. 

Benjamin Moore, 27, the dogs’ owner was charged Thursday with attempting to hide the three pit bull terriers that brutally mauled Shawn as he rode a new bicycle he had been given for doing well in school. 

Moore was being held on $30,000 bail, reduced from the $50,000 set Thursday. His girlfriend, Jacinda Knight, 33, was released from custody Thursday after authorities decided not to charge her. 

One of the dogs responsible for the attack was recovered, but two remain on the loose. Police believe Moore hid  

those dogs. 

Contra Costa County officials have not decided whether to destroy the recovered dog currently being held at an animal shelter in Pinole. Animal officials had a tough time corralling the dog once they found it. 

For now, police seem inclined to keep the dog alive because it could be tested to see whether it had been trained to attack humans, Richmond Police Department Sgt. Enos Johnson said. 

“It could show through testing and through examination that the dog was aggressive in social behavior,” Johnson said. “It could show any scars from previous fights.” 

A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the seizure of the other dogs. 

The public has been offering donations to help Shawn’s family. A trust fund has been set up at a Richmond bank, as well as a separate fund where 100 percent of proceeds go directly to aid the Jones family. A manager at the Richmond branch of The Mechanics Bank would not say how much has been donated. 

One San Francisco Bay area radio station began taking donations for Shawn’s family Friday morning by auctioning concert tickets and autographed CDs. 

The auction items ran out quickly, but calls and cash pledges continued, reaching $12,000 by noon. 


Editors note: A trust fund has been established for Shawn and contributions can be sent to Shawn Jones Fund, c/o The Mechanics Bank, 4100 Macdonald Ave., Richmond, CA 94805, account No. 139020128.