New legislation inspired by pit bull attack victim

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Eight year old Javon Roberson just celebrated a birthday and has come a long way since the June pitbull attack that nearly killed him on a Savannah playground.

"He says he is fine now, but I don't think that's true. People tease him because of his face and it hurts his feelings," Javon's mother Tracie Roberson said.

His mother says it is still a constant battle...whether it be taking the boy to doctor's appointments or therapy sessions.

She still can't understand why the pitbull owners were not charged.

"They are the owners. They are supposed to control them! My son went through the pain and suffering...he had a tragedy and these people never apologized. I believe my son still needs justice right now today," Roberson said.

State Representative Ann Purcell introduced legislation this week that would punish dog owners if their pets go on the attack.

"Georgians should not have to worry about being attacked by dangerous, unrestrained dogs. Due to the number of attacks on individuals by dangerous dogs, and especially the attack of a young boy on a Savannah playground, I felt compelled to work with my fellow legislators to find a way to strengthen our laws, " Rep. Purcell said.

House Bill 717 would penalize negligent dog owners whose failure to secure their dog results in a dog attack causing severe injury or death to a human being. The bill states that if a dog owner's failure to secure a potentially dangerous dog results in a dog attack that causes severe injury or death, the owner can be charged with a felony.

The sentences for the crime could range from one to three years in prison or a fine up to $20,000.

The bill still has to go through The House, The Senate, and be signed by the governor.

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