Concord Resident Convicted of Child Endangerment, Involuntary Manslaughter in Fatal Dog Mauling

April 11, 2014 17:51 pm · 36 comments

A judge today convicted a 55-year-old Concord man whose pit bulls fatally mauled his 2-year-old step-grandson four years ago on charges of child endangerment and involuntary manslaughter.

Steven Hayashi was found guilty in a Martinez courtroom this afternoon on the charge of felony child endangerment under circumstances likely to cause great bodily injury or death, a charge of involuntary manslaughter and a charge of owning vicious animals in connection with the death of 2-year-old Jacob Bisbee.

Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge John Kennedy handed down the decision today, some seven months after the trial against Hayashi began.

The defendant waived his right to have the trial heard by a jury.

Hayashi faces up to ten years in prison and is set to be sentenced in June.

Deputy District Attorney Mary Knox said the defendant had agreed to watch Jacob and his 4-year-old brother at their shared Concord home on the morning of June 22, 2010 while his wife Leticia slept.

Instead, Hayashi decided to leave the house to play tennis with his teenage son, leaving the two boys unsupervised with three of his five pit bulls in the home’s unlocked garage, according to the prosecutor.

While he was gone, Jacob went into the garage, where he was ripped apart by the three dogs. He was taken to John Muir Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.

Knox argued during the trial that Hayashi knew the dogs were dangerous and especially aggressive toward children but did nothing to protect the children from the dogs – a charge Kennedy agreed with.

She said the defendant was well aware that Jacob and his brother could open doors and that just days before his death Jacob had left the house alone and was wandering around the neighborhood.

His wife constantly told him to get rid of the dogs, Knox said.

The judge today also cited statements from Hayashi’s family members on the day of the mauling about the dogs being dangerous.

1 To bad April 11, 2014 at 6:05 PM

the dogs did not maul Hayashi. I remember seeing his comments on the news. He did not come across as a very decent sort of guy.

I hope he gets all 10 years.

2 sam April 11, 2014 at 6:08 PM

This narcissisistic ass should have been tried and convicted of murder.

3 WHO... April 11, 2014 at 6:16 PM

needs five f’n pit bulls. And screw all you
pit owners that will defend him !
Twenty years is more like it as an example that
if you are that stupid and selfish, you pay!

4 Mark April 11, 2014 at 6:25 PM

1,2,3 agreed.

5 Pitts Kill April 11, 2014 at 6:38 PM

This is clearly murder and this guy should get a life sentence. I think this guy should be tied to a post and then let 5 pit bulls tear him to pieces.

6 Anon April 11, 2014 at 6:57 PM

About time that breeding vicious dogs becomes a crime.

7 I am a Pitbull owner April 11, 2014 at 7:04 PM

But I will not defend somebody who keeps dangerous dogs (especially five) of ANY breed. This guy deserves to go to prison for leaving a two and four year old unattended, even if he didn’t have any dogs.

8 Suzanne April 11, 2014 at 7:20 PM

All these criminals, what’s going on! He should have had a harsher sentence than this!

9 Just Another Concord Resident April 11, 2014 at 7:27 PM

I can see no reason for that breed to exist.. but, we all know that it is the bad owner, not the dog.. have had bad experiences with other breeds, the blame always goes to the owner.

10 Schmee April 11, 2014 at 7:27 PM

They should grind him alive into dog food for strays.

-PitBull owner

11 JustLocal April 11, 2014 at 7:58 PM

The blame should go to the owner, and they say it’s just heritage. That may be true but usually they will leave you alone unless agitated. Those dogs in the garage must not have be fed properly.

12 Hang Um High McCoy April 11, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Depraved indifference- Murder 1

13 Skippy April 11, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Good verdict. Unfortunately, it won’t stop the next attack.

14 Walnut Creek Resident April 11, 2014 at 8:55 PM

That trial took way too long. Our resources and time is just a waste. He was so guilty why do we have to let the justice system take so long to convict and put people where they belong? Sick of this.

15 Sam Y April 11, 2014 at 9:14 PM

He is a POS and should be sentenced to life………. ANY dog will bit or attack. top ten dogs….Dalmatians, Presa Carario, Chows, Doberman, Malamutes, Huskies, Boxers, #3Sheperds, #2Rotts,and #1 Pitts :(

16 Noflow April 11, 2014 at 9:46 PM

ALL Pit Bulls need to be sterilized and the breed allowed to die out.

Check out dogsbite.org for the truth about these aggressive dogs.

17 Incoming April 11, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Social Darwinism at work.

18 juan doe April 11, 2014 at 11:22 PM

i met this guy when i towed his mercedes benz. hes a chemist at a major corporation. he has a looser tweek son in law who ive also met before. HE TOLD HIM NOT TO LEAVE THE KIDS AT HIS HOME.
And i agree fine is too many.

19 Gimli April 12, 2014 at 12:12 AM

Steve was railroaded by a career-making prosecuting attorney. Not uncommon. All the facts are not on display such as the role of the child’s father who was has somehow escaped negligence. They are going after the wrong person.

20 anon April 12, 2014 at 2:22 AM

well now the wife is rid of him and the dogs. Women; choose wisely.

21 anon April 12, 2014 at 2:26 AM

Juan, Hayashi told the tweek son in law not to leave the kids at his home? So he knows the kids are at his home and goes out to play tennis? what difference does that make?

22 anon April 12, 2014 at 2:31 AM

ok, go after them both then. Homeowners have legal responsibility for what happens on their property dont they? If people own guns they have to keep them properly secured since they are dangerous right? Do you not see the similarity?

23 Blink April 12, 2014 at 8:03 AM

So many guilty people here…what kind of parents leave children with such a man?
How does his teenage son feel good about playing tennis while toddlers left at home with dogs?
How does wife sleep through chaos?
Sounds like a house full of dis function….sad all all around…
What a great price for stupidity and selfishness

24 Slather his Genitals with Alpo April 12, 2014 at 8:25 AM

and let him spend some “quality time” with a pack of hungry pitbulls.

25 PitOwner April 12, 2014 at 8:54 AM

@Noflow just because some people raise there dogs doesn’t mean the breed should be “allowed to die out.” I am in no way defending this guy and what he allowed to happen because its wrong. But do not blame the breed, blame the owner who raise the dog to be like that. Not all pit bulls are dangerous and vicious.

26 Jessica April 12, 2014 at 8:58 AM

I do not defend this man. It was clear negligence and stupidity. The conviction was just, but justice will never be served on the parents of the child.

That being said: to all of you who think a breed is naturally bad you need a reality check. That’s like saying a race of people is naturally bad and not accounting for environment and raising. While a breed is naturally more inclined to be of a specific temperament, they are NOT naturally killers unless trained or taught that. Even ignoring a dog and letting them go back to their wild nature will turn them aggressive, why feral dogs are so dangerous. I know plenty of pits that are lovers and wouldn’t hurt a fly. I know plenty of chihuahuas, poodles and labs who have bitten more kids and adults than these dangerous breeds. While a pit bite is more deadly than a lab bite, statistics show that the most bites are from labs and poodles. Did you know chihuahua jaws lock in place like a pits? A fairly large chihuahua attacking a baby in the neck and kill it just like a pit.

It is an owner issue, not a breed issue. I’m not saying pits and other “dangerous” breeds aren’t tempered in a way that gives them more of a predator drive. I’m saying that the right owner can control that drive. And a good owner would know the behavior of their dog(s) and take every precaution to keep people safe, which this man did not do. The fact that he knew his dogs were aggressive towards kids, knew the kid could open the garage door and that he did not lock, cage or chain the dogs away from the kid is why he was charged, not because he owned a pit. If it was any other breed that had the same ill behaviors the same charge would apply.

27 Sawyer April 12, 2014 at 10:14 AM

@Jessica,

I know you’re heart is in the right place but your brain has gone off course a bit. You do make some good points about the nurture factor but you significantly minimize the nature aspect. Dog breeds developed because people intentionally bred dogs for selected traits. While this does not guarantee the outcome it is unwise to ignore a dogs genetic traits and the inherently higher likelihood of specific behaviors. Without writing a book, it’s as simple as saying that while not all Labs will want to retrieve, largely because of the selected traits they were bred for they will be more likely to want to jump in the water and retrieve something then, say a bulldog will. Now this trait will have varying intensity from one lab to the next, but if your dog just happens to really want to retrieve one day, at best he might get you a little wet and a little extra excercise. With a Pitbull, which were bred specifically to want to fight and do significant damage, if that trait really comes to the fore one day, you have a dead pregnant woman, killed by her own dog who had never displayed aggression before (the peninsula attack, google it). It’s the same in severals other cases right here in the Bay Area that have given us dead children in the past few years. Here’s a reasoned comment by a UC Davis vet-

“It’s quite common for a pit bull to show no signs of aggression,” Hart said Wednesday. “People will call it a nice dog, a sweet dog, even the neighbors – and then all of a sudden something triggers the dog, and it attacks a human in a characteristic way of biting and hanging on until a lot of damage is done.”

Hart said pit bulls are responsible for about 60 percent of dog attack fatalities each year, which is “way out of proportion” compared with other breeds. Pit bulls make up less than 5 percent of the American dog population.

“It’s very poor policy to allow any child around a pit bull, in my mind, let alone climb on a dog,” Hart said.

This isn’t to say most Pitbulls will attack, because numbers show us they won’t, just like the vast majority of .38 revolvers sitting in sock drawers were never used in a shooting up until better gun storage was pushed in recent decades. I think we’d all agree leaving a loaded gun in a drawer unlocked is a bad plan, even though numerically they’re unlikely to be used to hurt someone, and in fact can’t independently act on their own to hurt someone. So it is with Pitbulls, having one in public or around a child is basically saying that you’re pleasure at owning one is worth the (albeit unlikely) risk that it will kill a woman or child (for some reason they almost never kill men). I don’t support banning things but if you’re a responsible moral person, the only way to have a Pitbull in my mind is if it carefully locked up in a kennel and exercised in specific locations away from women and children. The same way you put a gun in a safe and only use it at a safe purpose centered location, like a range.

Now emotion will sway your logic in many cases like it does Pitbull owners on this issue, but a reasoned logical assessment of the facts as regards risk vs reward bears this out. It’s kind of like riding a motorcycle, if your honest you know your more likely to be killed on one then in a car. The difference is that when you make that risk vs reward assessment, the only persons safety your risking is your own, unlike with a Pitbull, where your risking the safety of the most vulnerable members of our society.

28 About pits... April 12, 2014 at 11:16 AM

For those of you that think you know about genetics
and aggression in animals should look at the Russian
scientists long term study of foxes and aggression.
Pits have an inbred( selected) aggressive nature.
This cannot be disputed by anyone with the exception
of the ignorant. Just as Von Sthepnitz created
German shepards thru selective breeding.
After about three or so years( after adolescence),
the aggressive nature of these dogs start exhibiting
itself.
These same studies have been done with wolves.
And the results are indisputable, you play with pits,
you will get bit, and I know several that have been.

29 MrDioji April 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Well stated, Sawyer. While being a “good” or “bad” owner definitely affects how well-behaved the dog is, pitbulls were bred for aggression. Not a good start. There are plenty of other dogs that are bred for affection and being good pets. I don’t see the need for pitbulls. Having said that, I’ve known some great pitbulls, but they weren’t any better than other great dogs I’ve known – they just had that hidden potential for danger.

30 Rose Garden April 12, 2014 at 12:06 PM

I agree that’s it’s more the owner than the breed, even with dangerous breeds. Unfortunately, a lot of dogs don’t have the right owners, and the lives of children are lost.

31 phmom April 12, 2014 at 9:23 PM

I hate pitbulls. I have what some people may say is an irrational hate and fear of them, but I’d rather be irrational in my fear then in defense of them. I don’t even want to be in the presence of them. Owners always seem surprised when they attack, They ALWAYS never bit before the first time, duh! And over and over I’ve read about them suddenly attacking for no reason. IN this case, who knows what they family dynamics were, but I have to agree that the parents who were moving in with grandma and stepgrandpa or whatever, were not clued in to the dangers they were exposing the child to. I would NEVER live in a house with a pitbull.

32 phmom April 12, 2014 at 9:26 PM

What is it that the bad owners of pitbulls do versus the good owners? I’m not convinced that makes a difference.

33 Unless you've had a pit... April 13, 2014 at 2:02 AM

I don’t think anyone has any right to blame the dogs. Yes I do agree that these dogs, the five he owned should not have been kept . Once they start to show that aggression, he should have nipped it in the a**. But for you people to sit and say that it’s the pitbull breed, your idiots. There is NO SUCH THING AS A BAD DOG, JUST A BAD OWNER. Just like a human if you don’t raise your child right that child will grow up to do bad things, like kill and steal and all that. And what about German shepherds , they are trained to attack for police. They can snap at any given moment and I have been witness to one being off leash charging at me while I walked down my street. I got bit in the face by a small dog, a chihuahua at that. So it’s any breed that can snap, not just pits! Some people are just so ignorant. Everyone is so quick to judge, I had a pitbull for 10 years that grew up with all 3 of my nieces and never even once showed any aggression towards them, even when they kicked and punched and pulled hair or pulled her rail. They could poke her eye, or pull her ear and that dog would allow every bit of it. And you know why? Because she was raised right! It takes a serious owner to have a pitbull and they have bad reps because idiots like to fight them and make them mean. What this man did has no excuse what so ever , but blame that sorry piece of sh*t, not these innocent animals. As for the mother who allowed her children to be in the house alone with pitbulls while she slept, that’s pathetic. She knew that these animals did not like children then why the hell allow them to be by themselves knowing that a child’s natural instinct is to want to play. In all honesty this was a sad tragedy brought on by the ignorance of the whole family. Leave the dogs out of this, they got the shi**y end of the stick.

34 Noflow April 13, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Those of you who continue to defend the indefensible, I used to think the way you do now. Pit-bulls are dangerous, each one a ticking time bomb specifically bred to act aggressively.

Pits are not the only dangerous breed.

Check out dogsbite.org for the truth about these aggressive dogs.

Neuter/spay them all and let the breed die. Its the most humane way to deal with this dangerous situation.

35 DangerousDogs April 13, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Any dog can be dangerous. It depends on the temperament, training, handling and breeding of the dog. On the street where I grew up, a dog was almost killed by a yellow lab. The lab was with a pitbull, but the pitbull did nothing. (The two dogs were out on the street as they had escaped from their yard.) As a kid I was bitten by a German shepherd, schnauzer, cocker spaniel and some kind of mutt. I have a friend who had a very aggressive Australian shepherd that I was terrified of. My friend’s child was bitten by their golden retriever many years ago, but the child and the dog were not being supervised at the time. The lesson: NEVER leave kids alone with dogs, don’t let kids tease, torment, abuse a pet. Any dog can be dangerous, they need to be supervised and trained. Also backyard breeders and puppy mills should not be breeding. Only reputable, responsible breeders should be breeding dogs. I have never lived with a pitbull, but I do like the breed as I do most breeds depending on the dogs’ personality. Unless a dog lives with a professional breeder, all dogs should be spayed and neutered. It’s better for the dog and better for who it lives with.

36 @no flow April 13, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Your stupid, so all the dangerous people should just be killed off too? How bout we just have all the idiots in the world not reproduce either. Pitbulls never seem to catch a break in this world. It’s all about the HUMAN who raises them. ANY type of dog can be trained to fight, not just a pitbull. People chose pits to use because they look mean as they are. Stop bashing a breed that you have no clue about . You’re reading the stuff off of the internet about them, not everything you read is true, HELLO. wake up and realize that it’s not the animals fault. It’s all the ignorant people who do not know how to breed them, train them and raise them.

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