Pit Bull Owners Charged, Devastated

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

"He feels as bad as the rest of us."

Rebecca Russell says her brother isn't eating or sleeping since the attack.

"It's not just that family going through pain, it's us too. We feel just as bad for that little girl as her own family does," Russell says.

Russell's brother Brian Nace, and his girlfriend Jasmine Bailey, are both facing felony charges after their three pit bulls mauled six-year-old neighbor Tyah Norris earlier this week in Blackman Township.

The little girl is in the hospital with gruesome facial injuries, requiring more than 500 stitches, according to police.

"They were not violent dogs. We did not raise them to kill. These dogs have been around 12 to 15 other kids, and never charged at anybody," Russell says.

But this one attack should never have happened, says Jackson County Prosecutor Hank Zavislak. He authorized the charges, which could land Nace and Bailey in prison for four years. He can't even bring himself to speak about Tyah's injuries.

"What did this child do? This poor child did nothing wrong," Zavislak says. "While the dogs committed the act, responsibility goes beyond the animal."

But Russell says her brother isn't to blame; he wasn't home for the attack and Russell says it's Bailey who let the dogs off the leash.

Zavislak says that doesn't change what happened.

"One child with 500 stitches, who's going to have a future of unspeakable pain and suffering with plastic surgery, one case like that is one case too many."

Nace is out on personal recognizance bond Friday night, while Bailey remains in the Jackson County Jail. We went to Tyah's home to get an update on her condition, but her family was not home.

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  • by Kev Location: Manchester on Jan 19, 2011 at 03:46 PM
    I feel terrible for any child attacked by a dog but you cannot condemn a whole breed. The owner should always be held responsible.
    Let's ban catholic priests, because some have abused children. Ridiculous!
    Again I will state I have complete sympathy for the family concerned, but killing all logbooks isn't the answer.
    Rotweillers and german shepherds are much more human aggressive than pits. No breed should be banned.
  • by pitbull owner on Sep 14, 2010 at 12:28 AM
    ok to all of you that are bad mouthing pitbulls give it up! maybe you should get to know a pit that has been raised with the right person. mine and my moms are both loving and cuddly! just look at the owners of the dogs in the recent attacks and you can plainly see that they are the type of people that make them mean!
  • by DJ on Aug 30, 2010 at 06:50 PM
    People say that pitbulls are only mean if raised that way. Well, for those people go get a African Lion, or a Asian tiger, let it around your own family. See if it will be "gentle" while nawing on your kids leg. Wild animals are not allowed as family pets for a reason. It is in thier nature to kill. Pitbulls should be on this same list. "Most" pitbull owners live in drug areas and high crime neighborhoods. Like a gun to the thugs, it is a symble of dominance.
  • by FED UP with Stupidity! on Aug 30, 2010 at 01:44 PM
    FYI if you own a pit bull it is not registered with AKC. If you own an American Staffordshire Terrier, than it most likly is registered or you have the AKC puppy papers you never sent in. Also I would suggest if anyone thinks the two types of dogs are the same that they read up on the Staffordshire, and also it's cousin the English Staffordshire, also an AKC breed. Then I would suggest you go to a couple of dog shows and learn the differences. Please people stop confusing the terrier with the pit bull. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME DOG! I am sorry for the child, and hope the owner and his stupid lady both end up in jail for a long time. But again stop confusing the two different kinds of dogs. They kind of look alike and that is where it ends. Pitbulls are letal killing machines and need to be distroyed.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 30, 2010 at 12:57 PM
    Dmympis: There is a big difference between a pit bull and an American Staffordshire terrier. They are close in looks and confirmation, but there is where everything changes. Different breed of dog, and if you think they are the same, I don't care if you earn more money than anyone else on earth. You aren't the brightest light in the sky. Most Am. Straffordshire Terrier owners would have a fit at the idea of someone saying they have a pit bull.
  • by dmympls Location: detroit on Aug 30, 2010 at 09:06 AM
    I am in the top 1% of wage earners in the US. My husband and I own three businesses between us and have two children. We also own loving American Staffordshire Terriers and cats. We own these dogs because they are gentle, loving, athletic, playful and funny. The last thing we care about is 'status' or fighting. Our children and cat has grown up and lived with this dog for 8 years. He is NOT a time bomb waiting to go off. Please just each animal as you would a person - as an individual - by their deed and not their race or breed. I am so sad and sorry for this little girl and her family and the owners of the dog for the pain that everyone is experiencing.
  • by Sandi on Aug 30, 2010 at 08:10 AM
    I love dogs, and have met some friendly pit-bulls. However the name says it all. These dogs were bread to fight bulls in pits back in the middle ages, they were also let loose on prisoners. This is a breed that was raised to kill. Sorry but the dog was supose to be killers. Sorry I do not think the dog should have been off lease or 5 seconds. As to the brainless girlfriend, she should be charged with attempted murder. The owner is responsible for his dogs and responsible for the people he leaves them with. Obviously the girlfriend didn't care what happened, or she wouldn't have let 3 dogs who are suppose to be dangerous loose. I don't think prison is a bad idea, I hope she gets longer than him.
  • by Sans on Aug 30, 2010 at 08:02 AM
    I am a dog owner, and no matter who lets the dog loose, out, etc. I am the one responsible. I carry the top amount of insurance in case of dog bite, and my dog weighs 16 lbs. The owner of the dogs was rsponsible, they are his dogs. I don't care who let them loose, he is still the owner. If this was my kid who let the dogs loose, the kid would be grounded for life. Still makes no difference the owner is responsible for his dogs.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 29, 2010 at 05:23 PM
    "... why would anyone in their right mind have 3 vicious pit bulls after all the stories of vicious attacks by these demon dogs. People always say theirs aren't vicious until they mame or kill someone" I hear stories of people killing people all the time, we should probably all stop having kids. People always say their kids aren't vicious until they maim or kill someone.
  • by jenn Location: charlotte on Aug 29, 2010 at 01:52 PM
    yes it is tragic that she was hurt but pits are truely a how they r raised kinda dog my dog lets me know if my children r even near doing something they shouldnt by barking furiously to let me know something isnt right if im not in the same room with the kids my kids can hug her kiss her lay with her and she is not even a bit mean with them she thinks shes one of them she is a very lovable dog and as far as not the only breed who attacks that is ture when i was small i was attacked by a dog i was around from birth and it was a family german shepard so pits r not the only breed to do things like this u just only hear about pits doing this and it sucks that such a breed has to live with this name society has given them as vicious
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