Owner faces 3 charges after downtown Roanoke dog attack

Dog attack happened on March 29

ROANOKE, Va. – The owner of the English bull terrier that reportedly attacked two people in downtown Roanoke now faces criminal charges.

Mark Roberts, of Roanoke, was charged Monday with having an unlicensed dog, allowing a dog to run at large and failing to take steps and precautions, as an animal owner, to protect the public.

Those offenses, in relation to the March 29 attack, are all Class 4 misdemeanors, each punishable by a fine of up to $250.

Deborah Caldwell-Bono, Roberts' lawyer, gave this statement on her client's behalf last week.

“Mark is a very kind-hearted person and he is quite devastated by everything that happened that day,” Caldwell-Bono wrote. “Mark did want me to express that he was so very sorry for his dog’s actions and that he has the two injured people in his thoughts and prayers.”

The dog attacked both a woman pushing a stroller and the man who tried to help her, according to police.

Roanoke police said the the dog had a history of violence, as they responded to an incident involving the dog in December.


After the attack, Paul Burek shot the dog, which survived being shot and was later euthanized at Angels of Assisi because of the severity of its injuries.

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