Man Convicted in Pitbull Mauling of Step-Grandson Gets Probation, One Year Jail Sentence

July 7, 2014 · 53 comments

A Concord man whose pit bulls fatally mauled his 2-year-old step-grandson after leaving the boy and his 4-year-old brother unsupervised one morning four years ago was sentenced in a Martinez courtroom today to a year in jail and three years probation.

Steven Hayashi, 55, received the sentence during a hearing in Contra Costa County Superior Court this morning in connection with the fatal dog mauling of 2-year-old Jacob Bisbee.

Judge John Kennedy handed down the sentence today, three months after convicting Hayashi on charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. The defendant waived his right to a jury trial.

During the sentencing hearing today, several friends and relatives spoke in support of Hayashi and asked the judge for a lenient sentence. “They felt he had suffered enough,” Deputy District Attorney Mary Knox said.

But Knox said it was Hayashi’s negligence that led to his toddler step-grandson’s death the morning of July 22, 2010.

Jacob and his 4-year-old brother lived with their father along with Hayashi, Hayashi’s wife, and their two teenage sons at the defendant’s home on Trailcreek Court.

Jacob’s father had left the house for work around 5:30 a.m. and Hayashi left a couple of hours later with his son to play tennis, leaving the two young boys home with his wife, who was asleep, according to prosecutors.

Later that morning, Jacob and his brother wandered into the home’s garage where Hayashi kept three of his five pit bulls. The dogs attacked, ripping the toddler’s body apart. Hayashi’s wife found the boy and called 911.

Jacob was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek where he died from his injuries.

Knox said the blame lay on Hayashi, who was well aware that his dogs were dangerous but took no precautions to protect the children from them. The defendant’s dogs were completely untrained, had to be kept outdoors, fought viciously with one another and had already killed two family pets, she said.

Jacob’s death was a tragedy that could have been avoided with basic precautions, Knox said.

“While there can never be justice or an appropriate punishment for leading to the death of your own family member, I hope this case reinforces for the public the very real dangers of maintaining dogs whose instinct is to chase and kill prey,” the prosecutor said.

David Cohen, Hayashi’s attorney, was not immediately available today for comment on his client’s sentence but has argued that there was no evidence Hayashi was responsible for the children at the time of Jacob’s death or that he knew the dogs were vicious.

Hayashi is free on bail pending appeal of his conviction.

1 Really? July 7, 2014 at 7:07 PM

FIVE PITS?

2 Fed-Up July 7, 2014 at 7:37 PM

What a friggin’ joke.You get a stiffer penalty for smoking in public these days.

3 unbelievalbe! July 7, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Are you kidding!?

4 Barbara July 7, 2014 at 7:46 PM

1 year for killing a baby, your step Grandbaby? You better hope for solitary!

5 sam bauman July 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Judge John Kennedy’s, personal ruling is highly suspect, that in of itself, warrants a criminal investigation.

6 VikingPrincess July 7, 2014 at 8:17 PM

What? But the father felt it was a safe environment to raise his toddler and tiny boy. Pitbulls kept for illegal killing are so gentle with children, why not have five.
My heart to the children only.
Disgusting.

7 Nuttsie the Nutter July 7, 2014 at 8:19 PM

I can hear it now. All the Pit Bull lovers will be out in force defending their misunderstood breed.

Of course the same thing could have happened if there were 3 wiener dogs in the garage. Remember. it is not the breed but the owner. Kind of like it is not the gun…………

8 Michelle July 7, 2014 at 8:29 PM

I mean really! The justice system could have done better than that; notwithstanding, he should have gotten at least five years or more.

9 BagsFlyFree July 7, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Sentence does not compute.. There is a zero missing after the one.

10 VikingPrincess July 7, 2014 at 8:39 PM

I don’t care if they are poodle, dachshund, setter or labs…they were trained to be aggressive with a history of killing.
Nutsie ..you may have a point regarding dog owners and the breed type. But as we know poodles and dachshunds are a vicious breed and they are typically found at dog fights.

Animals can be worse than guns they have their own minds and malfunction much more often.

11 Concord July 7, 2014 at 9:27 PM

How about this idiot should own no more pets!!! Stupid court. one year for the death of a child because he is an irresponsible moron. Pathetic. He should pay for his own court proceedings and be doing community service forever. Contra Costa County justice system is pathetic. I guess Chris Butler, et al., has ruined it.

12 Subterfuge July 7, 2014 at 9:41 PM

It should be a felony to own a pit bull. The breed needs to be eliminated.

13 Smart,Goodlooking&Debonaire July 7, 2014 at 10:00 PM

more importantly, was anyone offended during the commission of this crime? the lefties want to know!

14 Peggert July 7, 2014 at 10:30 PM

These dogs previously killed two of their pets!!!!!!

15 Elwood July 7, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Hayashi should be eaten by wild pigs.

16 mika July 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM

No jail time? What kind of deterrent is that?

17 Anon 2 July 8, 2014 at 12:52 AM

Peggert that was my thought. He didn’t know his,pit bulls were dangerous but they already killed two other pets. Then he leaves them in the house thinking his wife is awake? She’s a nurse and works nights but he doesn’t check to see that she is going to watch them? He gets one year in jail and three years probation????? Ridiculous! He should be torn apart by several dogs!

18 Joan VanSnark July 8, 2014 at 1:00 AM

Subterfuge, I agree 100 percent.

19 RANDOM TASK July 8, 2014 at 3:03 AM

sad I hope that guy is proud of himself …….oh wait he is…. he got off for killing his step-grandson instead of being held responsible for his actions. Must be a democrat…..or rather is now

20 RANDOM TASK July 8, 2014 at 3:05 AM

so wait this guy got less time than Michael vick…….

21 Anon July 8, 2014 at 4:24 AM

There is certainly no happy ending here but as others have stated what kind of message does it send, to have multiple vicious dogs with a clear history of attacks and killing, then when a human being is mauled and killed the owner gets a only one in jail. Does he even have to have the other dogs put down? In the end maybe the lifer’s in jail will teach him the lesson that the justice system is unable to or unwilling to do. I hear that they hate those who kill or are responsible for the deaths of children. Let’s hope it’s true.

22 Old Kezar Guy July 8, 2014 at 5:47 AM

@Smart, Goodlooking&Debonaire ……..WTF are you trying to convey. Psycho!

23 GetTheFactsStraight July 8, 2014 at 6:43 AM

Mika@16 should read more closely. The defendant was sentenced to a year in jail; as a condition of his 3 year probation term. Please also note that the defendant was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, not murder. Judge Kennedy is no leftist-softie, and if anything, has a reputation for stiff sentences. He has tried more murder cases in CCC over the last 10 years than any other judge. If he believed 3 years probation and 1 year jail was a just sentence, there must be a good reason for it. He sat through the trial, not us.

24 Counting July 8, 2014 at 7:04 AM

11 DAYS AND COUNTING !

25 Big B July 8, 2014 at 7:09 AM

Let’s see. Attorney’s argument is no evidence could be found that the owner’s couldn’t oresee that their pet killing dogs could be dangerous. Attorney arranged case to be heard in front of Judge John Kennedy instead of a jury. It’s bad enough that the residents of this area find out that the top commanding officer of the drug enforcement agency is corrupt now we are left with thoughts that our courts can be bought.

26 Trigger Warning July 8, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Didn’t these kids get killed while mom was busy sleeping instead of taking care of her children? And since the mother and stepfather are legally married (or so this implies), isn’t the mother equally responsible for the actions of her dogs, which are her legal property?

27 Disgusted July 8, 2014 at 8:16 AM

What a shame! Only ONE year jail time for the death of a child?! And he is out while he appeals.
But I bet if he had beaten or killed the DOG he would have gotten a much stiffer penalty.
So sad…

28 Julie July 8, 2014 at 8:21 AM

I wait for this to happen to neighbors I know who have had a pit for years, then had a baby. One fb photo shows the pit on the sofa, with the baby sitting on the floor next to it….classic dominance shot. I cannot stand when people try to justify this type of living situation. Either have the pit, or have the child. Pick. Which do you value more? The child, alive, or the pit, loaded gun-like? The grandparents of this young adult are no better–they condone the situation, even adopting a part pit mix of their own. I find it’s the poor white trash mentality….NEVER could happen to ME…ahhh. here is the example. One can hope that this douche bag gets what he deserves while in prison for a year. This sentence is a public tragedy. But not surprising, given the intelligence level of this town…

29 Cowellian July 8, 2014 at 8:35 AM

You know, Counting, no one is making you come here every day. If you don’t want to be here, then don’t be here.

30 Silva July 8, 2014 at 8:43 AM

MANY other untrained breeds of dog kept as a pack in a closed space would provide the same outcome. We only hear about pits because they are the breed of choice of abysmally irresponsible owners. Ever had to look for a pet at the pound? Dogs there are 99%pit bulls. And no, he hasn’t suffered enough.

31 ANNONeeemoose July 8, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Julie give me a break. Pit or no pit. A dog is a dog. I’m not even going to go into your assessment, but the mere fact a dog is a particular breed is wholly irrelevant.

32 ANNONeeemoose July 8, 2014 at 9:11 AM

A family member used to watch my son. With them, another family member had their husky type dog. Totally unsocialized with kids. 100% shy and reserved yet this person and the family as a whole thought the dog was “so cute” and “they’ll be fine.” I stopped bringing my son there …. any dog, unsocialized , unfamiliar with kids, and spoiled as to who is the boss… can bite, attack, fear bite, whatever.

The parents are ALSO VERY MUCH at fault here for letting their parents continue to watch their kids with those dogs in the house. Period. End of story. The grandfather is obviously an inconsiderate, asshole of a pet owner, but those parents knew those dogs where there. You figure something else out. You don’t EVER leave your kids in a dangerous situation.

And as someone else said, unless you have strong control and dog knowledge and are clearly the “alpha” in your pack, no one should own more than 2 dogs that are capable of harm. That is a retriever, that is a husky, that is a poodle, that is a beagle, that is any dog. They are pack animals.

Throw a pack of dogs to fend for themselves and create their own pecking order and you won’t be in it. A dog with a healthy respect of its place in the family and well trained and socialized will not do what these dogs did.

All evidence points to irresponsible pet owner, untrained dogs, and irresponsible parents. End of story. Breed is nothing to do with it. And don’t tell me my 85 lab couldn’t have done the same thing. Yes she could. Get two more large dogs tearing at the limbs and skin of a 2 year old and you have a disaster of epic proportion.

I do agree that we hear more of this due to the presence of these pit bull breeds with asshole macho types wanting “protection” and the “cool” factor. They have no idea what they’re doing with training and socialization. These dogs are terriers. They need exercise, training and strong leader. Ever met an untrained , unsocialized jack russell? Same. Just not big.

33 PhilthyPHRESH July 8, 2014 at 9:28 AM

@13 no, no lefties. You sir must be illiterate, if you care to read the article before you post, it was a child that got hurt. Shame, people like you give conservatives, like I, a bad name.

34 Connie Dobbs July 8, 2014 at 10:09 AM

#24 I’m excited for you. I moved back to America, too. It’s nice.

35 Concord chumps July 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Two things need to happen here:

1. Hayashi needs to be locked up in jailed for a very long time. He is responsible for the death of his grandchild.

2. The pitbull needs to be taken out and shot. Then feed the remains to Hiyashi as his first meal in prison.

36 Anon July 8, 2014 at 10:39 AM

This ass hat let the females offspring mate with its mother and then kept two male pups from that litter. The 4 males were not neutered either. He is a macho egotistically control freak. He has no remorse other than for himself. He was proud that his dogs were acting together as a pack. To him that was success. Since the courts cant do their job all I can hope for is Instant Karma,just add water! Tragic.

37 The Real A-Holes of Concord July 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

These pitbulls are out of control. No person should be allowed to own one, since 95% of dog owners have little control over their mutts in any case. So obviously, if you pair an agressive pitbull with a-hole down owners you have a recipe for disaster. And dont think for one minute that just because some dog owner has that thing on a leash it can’t spring free andattack you. It can.

38 Smart,Goodlooking&Debonaire July 8, 2014 at 10:54 AM

if you begin to have neighbors that own pit bulls, its time to move. Said another way, the ghettoization of your neighborhood has begun.

39 gratt July 8, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Probation Really, Probation is a joke in CCC, you can get away with anything and your PO will have you have you write an apology letter for him then give you a free bus tickets and a hug!!! You will never get jail because the so called leaders of the dept. are to busy eating donuts and biscuits!!!

40 VikingPrincess July 8, 2014 at 11:09 AM

#32
Very responsible and safe attitude.

It seems that all adults with knowledge of the aggressive history of the dogs and who are left in charge of caring for the children should be held accountable. Its not safe. Common sense.
Don’t know registration laws in CoCo county for dogs, but there should be square footage laws for pets. Dogs need more space to roam for their health. The family in this case did not seem too focused in this…one at work, another playing tennis, another sleeping. Did they ever walk their five dogs? Was the property size sufficient? Five dogs in a garage? Is that true or am I reading the article wrong. If this is true, the house must stink…yuck!

41 Mary Fouts July 8, 2014 at 11:44 AM

As a dog owner/guardian to 14-year old Chow mix Titus, I do not agree with this supposed punishment. A young helpless child is mauled to death, and the owner/guardian of the vicious dogs only gets a tap on the wrist, and moreover is released pending appeal? So Hayashi can enjoy his freedom; something that was forever taken away from the deceased innocent child.

He knew the dogs were violent; he expressed resentment toward his step-grandson who was mauled; his dogs had killed other family pets. What a pity that the helpless child’s life is valued so little by the Judge.

42 The Mamba July 8, 2014 at 11:52 AM

5 large pit bulls that had previously killed family pets and they had kids living with them? 1 year? Every adult involved in this catastrophe should be in for longer than that.

43 well... July 8, 2014 at 11:54 AM

What this article doesn’t mention is that the reason the grandmother was asleep is because she works graveyards. I think the father should have been convicted also. He willingly left his kid there knowing the situation.

44 PHILTHYphresh July 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Embrace the ghettoezation of out community and the words they make up. Owners need to be held accountable for the pets they own.

45 gimli July 8, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Yes @43. That is the correct story, the grandmother slept after working a night shift. The dad (now missing) brought his kids to live with the Hayashi’s. The dogs were there before the kids started living there. There was no communication on that day on who was supposed to watch Jacob. The whole family is at fault, but yes it is an accident. The dogs were kept in a garage with a door that latches shut. Jacob unsupervised, undid the latch and went in.

46 @gimli July 8, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Have to respectfully disagree, an accident is an unforseeable event, such as a car crash. Leaving any 4 year old unsupervised, particularly with access/proximity to dangerous dogs is manslaughter. The grandmother knew the dogs were around, the father knew the dogs were around, and Hayashi seems sub-human to just have left the kids unattended…not a long enough sentence

47 Monkey July 8, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Totally agree with Subterfuge. Hate, hate , hate pitbulls. Kill ‘em all.

48 Idiots July 8, 2014 at 10:32 PM

It’s not the pitbulls fault, it’s the OWNERS! I love my pibble, he is well loved, trained and knows who his master is. If he EVER showed an ounce of aggression that fool would be put down in a NY minute. If you can’t take te time to train the dog correctly, then don’t get it! And especially don’t get five and lock them up in your hot ass garage! This guy deserved much worse! Btw my labs have been 100 times more aggressive than my pit bull. So shove your thoughts up your asses. There are responsible pitbull owners out there! You just have to do your research and know what your getting yourself into before you adopt one! It’s the owner, not the dog. Remember that.

49 Why?!?! July 9, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Why Did the parents allow the kids at Grandpas?

Has Grandpa been prohibite From owning any more dogs?
Were the dogs euthanized?
Did the Parents sue the Grandparents?

Living hell to you Grandpa.

RIP poor little one.

50 ANNONeeemoose July 9, 2014 at 7:37 AM

Do any of you actually read any research or fact based information ? Or are you proud that you just buy into hysteria. There is a well reasoned and vetted piece put out that you all should read. And it’s not just all of you, reporters at places like Time get it wrong. But it’s wrong to take a sweeping brush and paint the entire breed in one way.

Take a look at this for those who care about the truth. In every dog bite related fatality (DBRF) the following factors are in play. In this case, I think EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE was in play. This family was woefully irresponsible. Breed has nothing to do with it:

The factors included in DBRFs: “No able-bodied person present to intervene (87.1 percent); the victim had no familiar relationship with dog (85.2 percent); the owner failed to neuter/spay dog (84.4 percent); the victim’s compromised ability to manage interactions with dog (77.4 percent); owner kept dog as resident rather than pet (76.2 percent); owner’s prior mismanagement of dog (37.5 percent); and the owner’s abuse or neglect of dog (21.1 percent).” Four or more of these factors were present in 80.5 percent of the cases – and breed was not a factor.

Feel free to read the entire article, when a local organization takes on Time Magazine:

http://badrap-blog.blogspot.com/2014/07/times-problem-piece-what-media-giants.html

51 ANNONeeemoose July 9, 2014 at 7:39 AM

gimli, you shot down your own argument of “accident” when you said that a child was left unsupervised. That is not an accident. This was not an accident. The word accident shouldn’t even come into play in this case.

52 gimli July 9, 2014 at 9:59 AM

@AnonMoose. No one deliberately set up Jacob to be killed. This is the definition of an accident.

53 ANNONeeemoose July 9, 2014 at 4:56 PM

WRONG WRONG WRONG gimli. You don’t supervise a CHILD, you are guilt of reckless endangerment, child abuse, and all kinds of other things that LED to his death. An accident is if you slip on a wayward banana peel. Not “forget” to supervise a child. Unbelievable you would even think like that. Seriously unbelievable. Either you have no children, or you too often take naps while your kids under 5 years old wander around alone and unsupervised.

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