A Newark man is facing charges after one of his dogs knocked an 89-year-old man to the ground and caused fatal injuries to the elderly man’s dog.

The incident happened Sept. 12 in the 100 block of Panorama Drive in the Timber Creek neighborhood, according to Lt. Andrew Rubin, a spokesman for the Newark Police Department.

The victim was walking his dog – a 9-year-old Morkie, which is a cross between a Yorkshire terrier and a Maltese – near his home when two loose dogs approached.

One of the dogs, a pit bull, suddenly charged and attacked the leashed Morkie and caused serious injuries to the small dog. The force of the attack also caused the victim to fall to the ground, Rubin said.

The Morkie was rushed to a veterinarian and underwent surgery, but ultimately had to be euthanized.

The two loose dogs ran off after the attack, and the victim told police he had never seen the dogs in the neighborhood before.

After an investigation, NPD’s animal control officer, Donna Vickers, determined that the dogs had escaped from the yard of a home located a block away. Their owner, identified as 39-year-old Joseph Kowalski, was not present at the time of the attack, Rubin said.

On Tuesday, police charged Kowalski with two counts of a dog running at large and one count of keeping a vicious animal, both misdemeanors, Rubin said. He was released on his own recognizance.

Kowalski still has custody of the pit bull, but if Kowalski is found guilty in Newark Alderman’s Court, the alderman could order the dog removed from the city, Rubin said.

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