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'I was no match for an XL Bully': Man 'lucky to be alive' after being 'savaged by dog for asking owner to put on lead'

24 September 2023, 13:15 | Updated: 24 September 2023, 19:38

Ben Francis Cźyżyk says he was attacked in Wolverhampton on Friday night
Ben Francis Cźyżyk says he was attacked in Wolverhampton on Friday night. Picture: Ben Francis Cźyżyk/Handout
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A man has told LBC he was an attacked by an XL Bully and its owner after he asked for the dog to be put on its lead in public.

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Ben Francis Cźyżyk says he came across a "very vicious dog" and its owner at around 11pm on Friday night in a park in Wolverhampton.

Feeling threatened, Ben asked the owner to put his dog on its lead, which he says prompted the owner to tell his dog to "attack".

"I had never met this person before and when I asked for him to leash his dog, him and his dog attacked me," Ben told LBC.

"I woke up in hospital...[by] then I believe he had fled the scene where ambulance and police attended."

He added: "This incident was very scary. I would say I'm lucky to be alive."

The attack left him with 12 fractures in one eye socket and several deep bite marks on his legs.

West Midlands said they are looking into the incident and "carrying out house-to-house enquiries" as part of their investigation.

Ben was attacked by an XL Bully in Wolverhampton on Friday night
Ben was attacked by an XL Bully in Wolverhampton on Friday night. Picture: Ben Francis Cźyżyk/Handout
Ben Francis Cźyżyk says he was 'enjoying his Friday night' when he was attacked
Ben Francis Cźyżyk says he was 'enjoying his Friday night' when he was attacked. Picture: Ben Francis Cźyżyk/Handout

It comes just weeks after a girl, 11, was attacked by an XL Bully while shopping in the nearby Bordesley Green, Birmingham.

Ana Paun and her older sister Geneza, 18, were out shopping when a crossbreed Bully XL/Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy broke free from its collar and chased the girl.

Ana was bitten on her arms and shoulders before she was rushed to hospital. A man, 60, was arrested.

Read More: Police hunt grey XL Bully and owner after man mauled by dog in south London

Read More: Thousands of XL Bully owners descend on London to protest against proposed breed ban

Just a week later, another man, 52, in was mauled to death by an XL Bully in Staffordshire while protecting his mother.

Hours after the 'heroic' man died, Rishi Sunak announced the breed would be banned in the UK.

The prime minister said the XL bully dog is a ‘danger to our communities’.

He said: “This is not about a handful of badly trained dogs, it’s a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on.

Warning: graphic images below

Ben says he is 'lucky to be alive' after the attack
Ben says he is 'lucky to be alive' after the attack. Picture: Ben Francis Cźyżyk/Handout
Ben woke up in the hospital after the attack
Ben woke up in the hospital after the attack. Picture: Ben Francis Cźyżyk/Handout

The ban has caused a backlash among XL Bully owners across the country, with a mass walk of the breed initially planned in Birmingham.

The organisers were forced to back down following an intense backlash online, after the event's leaflet encouraged people to "bring as many children as possible".

Meanwhile, thousands of XL Bully owners descended on central London on Saturday, calling for Mr Sunak's decision to be reversed.

Hundreds chanted "don't bully our bullies" as they blamed bad owners, rather than the breed.

As a victim of an XL Bully attack, Ben says he understands where they are coming from.

"I'm a dog lover and will never blame the animal," he told LBC.

"The owners are 100 per cent to blame. Irresponsible dog owners make bad dogs."

Read More: How half of all XL bully dogs in Britain are descended from ‘notorious’ LA fighting dog ‘Killer Kimbo’

A spokersperson for West Midlands Police said: "We're investigating after a man was injured in an assault in Penk Rise, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, at around 11pm on Friday (22 September).

"We understand the victim was knocked to the ground and kicked by a man who had a dog on a lead which also bit the victim.

"Officers attended and found the man in his 30s with injuries to his face and leg. Thankfully they are not believed to be life-changing. He was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital for further checks.

"We are continuing with v and reviewing CCTV and doorbell footage from the area as part of our on-going investigation."

Anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat on our website or by calling 101, quoting crime reference number 20/830097/23.

To remain anonymous, speak to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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