Father appeals to dog walker to own up after 11-year-old son bitten at Thornlands park

A THORNLANDS father has appealed for a dog owner to come forward after his 11-year-old son was bitten at a park on Monday.

THORNLANDS: Joseph and his father Geoff Helmrich on the walkway at William Stewart Park, Thornlands. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

THORNLANDS: Joseph and his father Geoff Helmrich on the walkway at William Stewart Park, Thornlands. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

Geoff Helmrich said his son Joseph had surgery after receiving two puncture wounds from the dog.

Mr Helmrich said Joseph was riding his skateboard on the walkway in William Stewart Park about 5pm while the dog owner was walking towards him with the animal on a leash.

“The dog just bit Joey on the crotch,” Mr Helmrich said.

“Joey backed away screaming in pain but the guy said ‘he just bumped you’ and ‘you’ll be alright’ before walking away.”

Mr Helmrich said two teenagers came running to help Joseph, one offering to drive him home.

“Joey said he was not allowed to get into someone’s car and picked up his skateboard and came home.”

Mr Helmrich said Joseph’s mother had rushed him to Redland Hospital but he was sent to Lady Cilento Hospital for surgery before being discharged on Tuesday morning.

“Joey had surgery to stitch and glue two puncture wounds in his thigh and groin,” Mr Helmrich said.

“He is OK but in a lot of pain.”

Mr Helmrich said he was livid the dog owner had walked away and left Joseph to get himself home.

“He is 11 years old. He’s just a kid.”

Geoff Helmrich

Geoff Helmrich

Mr Helmrich said they lived near the park and regarded it as a safe place for families.

“What frightens me is, what if it was my younger son, who is six, or if Joey had board shorts on, instead of heavy denim pants?

“I just want my kids to be able to come to the park and be safe.

“We are just devastated that this could happen to our boy.”

On Tuesday night police issued an appeal for help to find a man who may be able to assist with their investigations into the incident.

Police said the dog was described as looking similar to this one. Photo: Queensland Police Service

Police said the dog was described as looking similar to this one. Photo: Queensland Police Service

A police spokesperson said the man appeared to have downplayed the severity of the dog’s bit and walked towards the Crystal Waters shops at Thornlands.

“The man is described as being in his late 50s, Caucasian with a proportionate build and with grey balding hair and grey stubble,” the spokesperson said.

“He was wearing a light grey jumper and black pants.”

The spokesperson said the dog was described as large, brown and similar to a bull mastiff breed but more the size of a doberman. The dog was wearing a black studded collar.

Witnesses and anyone who knows the whereabouts of the man or his dog is asked to contact police.

​Cr Paul Golle called on witnesses to come forward, saying it was the fourth serious dog attack at Thornlands.

He called on residents to control their dogs, which he said meant more than only having them on a leash.

“This attack on a young child who was left injured is simply outrageous,” Cr Golle said.

The Redland City Bulletin has asked council for comment.