A heroic handyman helped save an almost 2-year-old boy and his 9-month-old brother from a vicious dog attack, then watched as the owner shot his big English bulldog in the head three times minutes after the frightening attack, according to police reports.
Neighbors told of a dog crying in agony and officers reported facing an unusually calm dog owner. Here’s how it all played out Sunday in Saugus, according to court records obtained by the Herald.
The dog’s owner, Richard Maltais, 50, hosted a party for his employees at his home Saturday night, and a few slept over, police said. Carlos Diaz, 27, and Cindy Guardado, 22, stayed with their three kids, Yerik, 4, Carlos, who turns 2 Friday, and Jonathan, 9 months old.
Carlos Lopez, 38, who does odd jobs for Maltais, was working in the dog owner’s yard Sunday morning when he heard a child screaming near the patio, police said. Lopez told the cops he saw Maltais’ dog Spike pinning little Carlos on the ground, “bearing its teeth and growling.”
Lopez raced over to the boy, scooping Carlos up into his arms and pushing the big dog off, the reports said. The dog was jumping up, the report said, “continuing the attack.” The boy’s father, Carlos Diaz, rushed to help while holding 9-month-old Jonathan, and the hound bit the baby’s leg, police said.
Maltais was on the other side of the property during the attack, the police reports said. Lopez and Diaz managed to get the children inside and Cindy Guardado took her baby to a nearby emergency room, police said. After, Lopez said he went to work in the tomato garden and Maltais went inside without saying a word, the report said.
Then, Lopez heard a gunshot, and when he turned, he told police he saw Maltais shoot Spike in the head three times.
“The dog has been a problem,” Maltais said before covering up the dog under the back deck, the police reports said.
Neighbors had heard the gun shots, with one telling the cops he heard a “terrible sound of a dog crying in agony.”
Maltais told police the dog, which he bought last summer, had been abused. He confessed to shooting the dog three times with his Sig Sauer handgun. Wrote one officer in his report: “(His) demeanor was remarkably calm for the scene and he showed no outward signs of emotion, even going to the point of offering me a water to drink.” After moving plastic cans and an umbrella, the officer discovered the dead dog under the deck.
Maltais did not return calls. He’s been summoned to Lynn District Court July 23 to face various firearms and animal cruelty charges.