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OL man accused of letting pit bull attack his mother

Jeremy Rusin charged with assault, battery

By Laura Bollin

An Oak Lawn man has been charged with battery and assault after allegedly allowing his girlfriend's pit bull terrier attack his mom.

Jeremy F. Rusin, 21, was arrested at 9:42 p.m. Jan. 4 at a home in the 4900 block of 91st Street in Oak Lawn.

The seemingly chaotic incident began when Rusin came out of his bedroom at the residence and started yelling at his mother, causing the 75-pound pit bull to bite the 51-year-old woman on the arms and stomach, police said. Rusin pulled the dog away, but when his mother tried to flee outside he allegedly let go of the animal and allowed it to attack her a second time, police said.

Rusin reportedly grabbed his mother's shoulder to prevent her from going outside, causing her to hit her head on a wall, and when she made it outside Rusin did nothing to stop the dog from attacking her a third time, police said.

The woman fled to a neighbor's home. Meanwhile, a witness who was driving past the home and witnessed the incident stopped to call 911 was accosted by Rusin, who allegedly told the man to mind his own business, then took off his shirt and told the man he was going to "kick [his] ass." When police arrived, Rusin allegedly hit an officer in the chest with his shoulder, and later at the Oak Lawn police station threatened an officer, refused to be fingerprinted and banged a cell door.

Rusin's girlfriend, who lives in Worth, was told to take the dog to an animal shelter. The dog has since been returned to her. The dog never barked or growled at police officers so there was no reason to keep it at the shelter, police said.

Any dog that bites a person or another animal unprovoked could be considered a dangerous dog, but the severity of the bite also needs be considered, police said. Oak Lawn's vicious dog ordinance, which was amended in January 2012, allows the village to fine the owners of vicious dogs - a dog biting a person, for example - between $750 and $7,500. The maximum fine for a third offense is $10,000.

Rusin may not be fined at all because the incident occurred inside his home and not out on the street, police said.