The fate of a step-grandfather accused of leaving his two young grandsons at home unsupervised with his dangerous pit bulls is in the hands of the courts now. Steven Hayashi's 2-year-old grandson, Jacob Bisbee, died when he was attacked by the dogs while the step-grandfather was out playing tennis.
According to prosecutors, Hayashi is to blame for not only knowing his dogs were dangerous, but leaving the door to the garage where the dogs were located unlocked and un-child-proofed when he left Jacob and his 4-year-old brother home alone with their sleeping grandmother. And for all of this, for alleged involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment, Hayashi is facing just 10 years in prison.
For knowingly leaving a child in serious danger that resulted in his death?
Is that really enough?
Let me back up a second and address the elephant in the room: not all pit bulls are dangerous. It would be irresponsible of me not to mention that in this anti-pit bull climate. Frankly, that's a kettle of fish that's much too deep for me to get into in just one blog post, but it must be put out there (and if you want more info, check out this great post from the ASPCA on pet behavior and pits).
Although not every pit bull is dangerous, in this step-grandfather's case, police say his weren't just vicious, but he knew it! The dogs had already killed two family pets and showed aggression toward little Jacob. Prosecutors allege Hayashi had ignored family members' requests that he get rid of the dogs, stating:
But as he told his wife, the dogs were his, and the children were his step-grandchildren, and they should leave before the dogs.
Unfortunately, little Jacob did leave. He died while his grandma was sleeping, while his grandpa was out playing tennis.
The case is still in court, so Hayashi is innocent until proven guilty, but it certainly sounds like he cared nothing for this little boy's safety. Is it really so hard to put off your tennis game until a responsible adult is awake and ready to watch the kids for you? Is it really so hard to LOCK a door?
And if this case proceeds as it stands; if his grandfather is convicted; the message the court sends is that his life is only worth 10 years in prison.
What do you think of the charges and potential punishment here? Is it enough?
Image via v1ctor/Flickr