Sheffield boxing coach bitten by Pitbull urges police to track down dangerous dog before it strikes again

Mat Mowat's injured leg
Mat Mowat's injured leg
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A Sheffield boxing coach has urged police to trace a Pitbull-type dog that attacked him while out running before it strikes again.

Mat Mowat, who was recently awarded a British Empire Medal for his community work, was bitten in the leg as he ran down Blackstock Road in Gleadless Valley last Wednesday.

A picture of the dog Mr Mowat says was responsible for the attack

A picture of the dog Mr Mowat says was responsible for the attack

He was left with a large bite mark on his leg and also injured his shoulder after falling to the ground.

Mat said he fears the animal could attack someone else if the dog and its owner are not tracked down by the police and has shared a picture of them with officers.

He said: "The owner tried blaming me, saying I had frightened the dog. But what if it had been a two-year-old kid or an elderly person going past instead of me?"

Mat has now complained about the police handling of the situation.

Mat Mowat (left) after receiving his British Empire Medal. He is pictured with fellow boxing coach Glyn Rhodes

Mat Mowat (left) after receiving his British Empire Medal. He is pictured with fellow boxing coach Glyn Rhodes

He said officers did not come out to see him and when he spotted the dog owner, a man in his 20s, again on Friday and rang police to say where he was he was told no one was available to come out at that time.

Mr Mowat said he did not believe the force was taking the case seriously enough.

He said: "I had just come back from holiday last Tuesday and on Wednesday morning I thought I would go for a run.

"I was going down Blackstock Road and as I was coming down I could see a man with a dog. I could see it was like a big Staffie or a puppy pit bull.

"I thought I would give it a little bit of a wide berth and ran on the outside of the bus stop.

"As I stepped to that side, the dog just attacked me. It grabbed hold of my leg. I have gone straight onto the road and it pushed me on the floor.

"It was a nasty, vicious dog."

Mat said after getting home, he rang the police and was told someone would be in touch with him within 24 hours.

But he said that after not hearing anything back, he saw the man and the dog again on Blackstock Road on Friday.

He said the man had walked over his car and threatened him, saying he would set the dog on him again.

Mat said he rang the police again to say the man was there and asked for officers to come down. But he said he was told no officers were available to come out to the scene.

He said an officer finally came out to take a statement on Friday night.

"I got assaulted by that dog on Wednesday morning. It has taken them until Friday night to come and see me with me tracking him down myself," he said.

"It has destroyed my faith in them."

Mat has now made a complaint about how the case has been handled so far.

"It would be nice to know that the dangerous dog has been taken off the street and the owner has been apprehended and spoken to about this matter," he said.

"The longer this goes on the more likely the dog could attack a child or old-aged person.

"I am still disappointed and deeply concerned with the lack of communication from the South Yorkshire Police. This matter is serious and doesn't seem to have been taken seriously by the police."

The incident is the latest in a series of dog attacks in Sheffield. Earlier this month, a 16-year-old boy was bitten by a husky-type dog in Osgathorpe Park off Earl Marshall Road in Fir Vale - leaving him with serious injuries.

It follows an attack on Saturday October 1 in which a woman required 40 stitches and suffered serious scarring after she was bitten in the face by a Shar-Pei type dog on Richmond Road in Woodthorpe.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said of the latest incident: "Police are investigating after a man was reportedly bitten by a dog in the Gleadless Valley area of Sheffield.

"At about 8.45am on Wednesday 19 October, a 49-year-old man was jogging along Blackstock Road when a dog, possibly a Pitbull Terrier type breed, approached him.

"The dog is said to have bitten the man, causing a injury to his lower body.

"Officers investigating the matter are working to establish the exact breed of the dog and to identify the owner.

"Police would like to hear from anyone who saw what happened. If you can help, please call 101 quoting incident number 317 of October 19, 2016."