Larry Otts, whose pit bull Zeus is accused of attacking two men and another dog outside St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in late November, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a citation issued in the incident.

His trial in Brookings Municipal Court is slated for 11 a.m. Feb. 7.

According to Debbie Powell, her father’s two border collies, Red and Pete, were in the back of his truck when Otts was transferring his dog from the cab of his truck to the bed.

According to witnesses, the pit bull jumped up against the other truck, grabbed Pete and pulled him out of the bed of the truck. Powell’s father, Jim Blunt, and his friend Doug Martin suffered injuries when they intervened in an attempt to separate the dogs.

Blunt and Martin suffered serious injuries to their hands, and both developed cellulitis. Blunt has recovered. Martin said he is still in pain, can’t make a fist and has swelling on his hand, he said.

Pete suffered a torn ear, puncture wounds around his throat and a gash on his head, Powell said.

The incident brought to the forefront the issue of the homeless and their dogs, and St. Timothy Vicar Bernie Lindley implemented new leash law and other rules at his church.

Powell said the families are awaiting the decision of the judge before considering pursuing the matter in a civil court.

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