DIGHTON (CBS) — The teenager who died after he apparently was mauled by dogs in Dighton has been identified as 14-year-old Ryan Hazel from Rehoboth.
According to the Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn, Hazel was watching the dogs for their owner, 49-year-old Scott Dunmore, while Dunmore was in Boston. Hazel was driven to the Maple Swamp Road property by his grandmother. When he didn’t return to her car, a neighbor was called.
“This was clearly a terrible tragedy for the victim, his family, and his friends, and the town. My heart goes out to all of them,” said Quinn.
Authorities said Dunmore trained dogs on the property. Four apparently attacked Hazel on Thursday. Those dogs were found in the yard and seven more were secured in cages during the time of the attack.
“The dogs that were outside were Dutch Shepherds and Belgian Malinois,” Quinn said. They were not licensed in the town. All 11 dogs were taken into custody and have been quarantined.
Quinn described the property as large, with several animals but nothing more specific.
Hazel was a freshman at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School.
“This loss is sure to raise many questions, concerns and emotions from our entire school community, including students, faculty and staff. B-P Regional Technical School has activated its Crisis Response Team, made up of counselors from in and around the district who are professionally trained to listen and assist students during times of need and grief,” said a statement from Superintendent Alexandre Magalhaes.
Hazel was on the freshman football team and friends say he was a great kid. They decorated his locker in his memory and plan to wear his favorite color green on Monday.
Ann Maggi, who lives nearby, said, “It’s such a tragic thing…I’m hoping things are resolved and that his family is grieving and they’re able to find peace with everything that’s gone on.”
Maggi said she knew there were dogs on the property, but has never had any trouble.
“You do hear dogs barking occasionally but beyond that everyone is kind of doing their own thing,” said Maggi. “It’s very quiet here.”
Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District Superintendent Anthony Azar also released a statement. It said, in part, “It is with a heavy heart that we have heard the news of the tragic death of a Rehoboth teenager… I have alerted our district crisis team and the crisis teams at all of our schools. If you or your child need additional support today, our counselors and support services will be available throughout the day.”
Foul play is not suspected at this time, said Quinn. Dunmore is cooperating with the investigation.