Boxer’s career ruined protecting girls from dog attack

How can we help you?

Your enquiry will be reviewed with no obligation.

Boxer’s career ruined protecting girls from dog attack

1st September 2009

A Manchester boxer's career has been cut short after he sustained serious injuries to his hand while trying to stop a dog from attacking his children.

Dennis Tyson was out walking with his family in Kenyon Lane, Moston, when the large dog - believed to be a German Shepherd dog - moved to pounce at around 6.30pm on Monday, 27 July. The former soldier fought and wrestled with the animal, holding it down and preventing it from attacking his partner and two young daughters. But the dog managed to sink its teeth into his right hand, tearing at the tendons and nerves, causing horrific injuries.

The 32-year-old, who fights out of Collyhurst and Moston Gym, in Moston, had been enjoying a successful boxing career until the attack, but has been told he will most likely never be able to box again due to the damage to his hand.

"We were just walking along the street, when we saw this great big dog running towards us over a patch of grass," said Mr Tyson. "It was only a few feet away. Its neck was sunk into its shoulders and it was growling - I'm a dog owner and recognised these signs of aggression - and it was snarling at my daughters," he said.

Mr Tyson's partner Nicola Higgins grabbed the girls - aged four and seven - and moved them further along the street as Mr Tyson stood in the way of the brown, long-haired dog.

"It jumped up into my face three times," he said. "The first two times I managed to hit the dog away, but the third time it bit down on my hand. It latched on and held me in its teeth, shaking its head. The owner was running after the dog - he looked in a state of panic.

"I managed to push the dog down to the floor and held it there until the owner reached us," said Mr Tyson.

"The owner put a choke lead around the dog's neck and hit it a couple of times. I confronted him about the fact that it had gone for my children and he just looked at me and walked away."

Mr Tyson was unable to pursue the owner due to the severity of his injuries, and he is now hoping witnesses will come forward and confirm the details of the attack or identify the owner, to help with his claim for compensation.

Matthew Evans, a partner with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said Mr Tyson's future livelihood had been ruined by the attack.

"He has been training to compete professionally for the last seven years," said Mr Evans, a personal injury law specialist. "But his trainers have told him that he will be unlikely to box professionally in the future as his hand will be too weak to carry out the intensive training necessary.

"The dog's tooth pierced his hand and went right through to the other side, snapping a bone in two places," he said. "There is also damage to his tendons and ligaments, and he may ultimately need an operation to remove a nerve."

Mr Evans explained that under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority scheme, Mr Tyson is entitled to compensation due to the dog attack.

"What we need are witnesses to come forward who either saw the attack, or can help us identify the owner," he said. "Mr Tyson's career has been ended because he prevented this dangerous animal from attacking his children. It is only fair that he receives the compensation to which he is entitled," he said.

Can you help?
The attack happened around 6.30pm on Monday 27 July, in Kenyon Lane, Moston. The dog is a large, brown German Shepherd breed with long hair. The owner is described as a white male aged 30-35, slightly shorter than six feet tall, with light, short hair. He was wearing jeans and a green coat and was generally scruffy-looking.

If you witnessed the attack or can identify the dog's owner, please contact Matthew Evans or Holly Common at Fentons Solicitors LLP on 0161 238 6400.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons Solicitors has a specialist criminal injury compensation department.

If you think that you have a case, or if you require further information, please contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.