Dogs Attack Boy on Way to School Bus, Owner Refuses to Turn Them Over: ‘Tell the Family I’m Sorry’
On May 11, six-year-old Abanoub Zakaria was on his way to the school bus stop with his mother when a neighbor’s dogs got loose.
The two had barely left their home in Henrico County, Virginia, when two large rottweilers came barreling their way.
First, the dogs investigated a different student walking along the street, circling before running toward Abanoub and his mother.
As the dogs approached, Abanoub separated from his mother for a moment, and both screamed. The dogs saw their opportunity and pounced, ripping into Abanoub’s clothes, backpack and body.
The boy’s mother ran to a neighbor for help.
“The dog just bite me too, too, too hard — and I got hurt,” Abanoub told WTVR-TV.
“Blood everywhere,” the boy’s father, Youssef Iouza, recalled. “I can’t explain how much pain it causes me seeing my son attacked by two dogs”
First responders were called, and they took Abanoub to the hospital where he received stitches. His legs, face and head sustained the brunt of the attack.
Authorities encountered some issues when the dogs’ owner, neighbor Franklin Boyd, refused to turn them over.
As a result, Boyd was charged with obstruction and unlawful concealment of the dogs, as well as multiple counts of vicious dog and dog running at large.
Finally, 10 days after the attack, Boyd handed over the two dogs to Henrico Animal Control. The dogs had apparently been involved in another attack months prior to this one, according to authorities.
When the family showed up to court on Monday, Abanoub had to be carried in, as his father said he was not yet able to walk on his own.
While Boyd declined to comment on the hearing, he did offer an apology to Abanoub as he walked to his car.
“Tell the family I’m sorry,” he said, according to WTVR-TV. “I’m sorry, and I hope the kid is okay.”
While Abanoub has a lot of physical healing ahead of him, the emotional scars run deep as well. His father said that Abanoub has nightmares where he yells “please stop,” as though he’s addressing the dogs.
The boy has been unable to attend school since the attack, so the school came to him to offer a bit of encouragement in the form of a drive-by parade.
“The Greenwood Elementary community surprised a little boy who was attacked by dogs last week at a Henrico bus stop,” WTVR shared on Facebook.
“His family said that six-year-old Abanoub Zakaria is not able to go to school right now due to his injuries.
“They said that Abanoub loved this surprise and it really lifted his spirits. They want to thank the staff for the kind gesture.”