PROSSER, Wash. – A Prosser mother was in her house when she noticed her neighbor’s dogs running loose.
She raced to shut the gate before the notorious pack of aggressive dogs could get into her yard, but she failed to latch it before they attacked.
When her 15-year-old son tried to help her, the dogs turned on him and the family dog, too.
Four months after the brutal attack, dog owner Darrell L. Wynn Jr., 52, is facing two felony counts of a potentially dangerous dog attack.
Investigators claim Wynn let his dogs run loose and terrorize his neighbors for nearly a year before the April 8 attack, according to Benton County court records.
As many as nine pit bulls at a time chased horses, police officers and others in Benton City and Prosser.
But Wynn ignored warnings from police and dismissed pleas from neighbors in the months leading up to the attack that left Christin Gregerson and her son Hunter severely injured, said court records.
Hunter suffered 105 puncture wounds, and his mother needed dozens of stitches and nearly lost her arm. Their dog was killed.
Benton County deputies seized three dogs with blood still on their muzzles, according to court records.
Wynn allowed the three to be euthanized after a 10-day quarantine to check for rabies, Benton County Sheriff’s Lt. Jason Erickson said.
Pit bull attack
Hunter Gregerson was outside painting a shed on Old Inland Empire Highway when his dogs started barking around 9 a.m. His mother heard the barking and went to close the gate to her yard.
They believed a pack of seven neighbor dogs were heading toward their yard. The animals made it inside before the gate could get closed, and they pinned Christin Gregerson against the fence, according to court records.
When Hunter heard his mother screaming for help, he ran to pull the dogs off her. They attacked him, too.
Another neighbor heard the screams, grabbed a shovel and ran toward the Gregersons’ house. He used the shovel and beat and chased away the dogs.
Police were called, and the mother and son were taken to Prosser Memorial Hospital.
A GoFundMe raised nearly $14,000 to help pay for their hospital stay and install a new gate. According to the most recent updates, both are facing a long recovery.
Neighbors told officers that the dogs were often loose and always aggressive.
One of Wynn’s neighbors said the dogs were running through his pasture chasing cattle before officers arrived. He told investigators that he needed to put up a fence to keep the dogs out.
“He advised that he had pleaded with the defendant informing him that the dogs were overly aggressive and dangerous to which the defendant responded, ‘You just have to get to know them,’ ” according to court records.
When officers went to Wynn’s home after the attack, they found three pit bulls with blood on their faces. When asked if he had any previous problems with them, he said, “These are the three I didn’t think would ever do anything.”
The dogs became extremely aggressive when animal control officers took custody of them, according to court documents.
History of problems
Court documents say neighbors had been calling to complain about the pit bulls for nearly a year before the attack.
Officers were called to 120 Grace Court in Benton City, Wash., in June 2021 when a woman reported five pit bulls were running loose.
The officer was talking with the woman when three of the dogs charged, according to court records. The women ran inside her fence, while the officer raced to his patrol vehicle and called for help.
As other officers were arriving, a neighbor told the officer that the dogs were bothering her goats in her yard earlier in the morning and that the dogs were always roaming the neighborhood.
When deputies went to talk to Wynn, the dogs charged at them and they needed to use pepper spray to stop them.
Wynn told police he had seven pit bulls, which is more than what’s allowed by code, according to court records. The dogs were escaping through a broken fence.
He said he was moving in two days, so then the problem would be gone.
Officers were called again on Oct. 18, when the dogs were chasing horses and cats in the area. When the officers contacted Wynn, they found nine pit bulls and several puppies in the yard.
He was again told he had too many dogs, and police contacted animal control and code enforcement to follow-up.
Police showed on Dec. 1 about the previous complaints and eight dogs started running toward them. He told officers that several of them would be leaving and he would only have four dogs.
“The defendant confirmed that he had spoken with officers and that the neighbors ‘need to mind their own business and quit complaining about them,’ ” according to court records.
The final call came just days before the attack when a woman reported that she and her girlfriend were chased by five pit bulls on her property.
She had heard the dogs outside chasing her horses. When she went outside, two dogs challenged her. Two of the dogs were declared potentially dangerous at that point.
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