St. Louis (KSDK) -- A vicious pit bull attack sends one man to the hospital. But those who saw it don't blame the dog as much as his owner. And now police have him behind bars.
Police say 21 year-old Izehe Joseph Martin gave his pit bull the command to attack another young man. It happened this past Sunday night. Friends of the victim say he is 17 and that Martin was upset that their friend told him he needed a leash for the dog.
Prosecutors say Martin used "homosexual slurs" toward the victim and when the dog attacked so did he. Because he used the dog Martin is charged with both assault and armed criminal action -- both felonies.
"Next thing I know, all I hear I, 'sick 'em,'" says Corey Kosulandich whom the victim was visiting when he was allegedly attacked. Kosulandich says the dog obeyed and Martin, "started assaulting him while the dog continues to bite him."
Even though Martin is accused of using "homosexual slurs" this is not a hate crime, because only certain crimes qualify as hate crimes under the law. But prosecutors say that could be a factor in sentencing if Martin is convicted.
The victim in this case was treated for his wounds and released from the hospital.