ATLANTA (AP/CBS) – An airline passenger was bitten repeatedly in the face by a dog that was allowed on the plane to provide emotional support to another passenger.
According to an Atlanta police report, Marlin Jackson of Daphne, Alabama, was taken to a hospital Sunday in stable condition with “severe injury to the face due to several dog bites.”
Jackson was bitten by a Labrador retriever-pointer mix brought on the Delta Air Lines flight to San Diego by Ronald Mundy Jr., a Marine Corps member from Mills River, North Carolina.
Passenger, Bridget Maddox-Peoples said it appeared the man was mauled by the dog and was badly injured.
Maddox-Peoples said the dog was possibly a lab mix weighing about 50 pounds. She also said the victim was sitting by the window and the dog’s owner was in the middle seat with his dog. Another passenger said he saw the dog sitting in his owner’s lap.
Maddox-Peoples said Delta’s flight crew immediately got help and paramedics walked the man off the plane. She said the man was noticeably shaken up.
Delta issued the following statement: “Prior to pushback of flight 1430, ATL-SAN, a passenger sustained a bite from another passenger’s emotional support dog. The customer who was bitten was removed from the flight to receive medical attention. Local law enforcement cleared the dog, and the dog and its owner were re-accommodated on a later flight; the dog will fly in a kennel.”
Another passenger says that the dog’s owner was described by the flight crew as a “combat veteran” and that the man was cradling the dog in his arms in the gate area and that the crew saw him weeping, repeatedly saying, “I know they’re going to put him down.”
The condition of the man who was injured was not immediately known.
Mundy was not charged. Delta said he took a later flight, with the dog traveling in a kennel.