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2 turn selves in to face charges in dog-bite case

SHARE 2 turn selves in to face charges in dog-bite case

Two suspects in a dog-biting case turned themselves in on Thursday and face felony charges.

Warrants were filed last week against Tiffany Vargas, 26, and James Hoyt, 24, after their dog reportedly attacked a child at Liberty Park on April 13.

The couple was charged with dog fighting and child abuse, both third-degree felonies, and reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor.

Vargas and Hoyt's black and white pit bull terrier, Malcolm, attacked a 3-year-old girl. The dog was wearing a leather harness and a leash but was being restrained close enough to the girl to attack. Hoyt reportedly told the fiance of the girl's mother that the dog had been trained to fight.

The dog bit into the girl's face and would not let go. Hoyt allegedly laughed during the attack, according to charging documents.

The child suffered serious injuries to her face and was treated at Primary Children's Medical Center.

Earlier in the day, several pit bull owners, including Hoyt and Vargas, had been standing in a circle taunting the dogs against each other. The dog-fighting charges stem from that act of allowing the dog to bark and become agitated by other dogs, said Salt Lake County Animal Services spokeswoman Temma Martin.

A court hearing is scheduled for June 19 before 3rd District Judge William Bohling.