June 09, 2017
A man was hospitalized this week after an emotional support dog attacked his face aboard a Delta Airlines flight bound for San Diego from Atlanta.
Marlin Termaine Jackson, of Alabama, was allegedly injured during the boarding process after he took his window seat, according to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Ronald Kevin Mundy Jr., who police told the publication is a military service member with the U.S. Marine Corps and was issued a chocolate lab pointer mix "for support," was seated next to Jackson with the dog in his lap when it became aggressive.
The 4-year-old dog that weighs about 50 pounds allegedly growled at Jackson and later lunged at his face, Jackson's attorney said in a statement obtained by FOX10 Alabama. Mundy unsuccessfully attempted to pull the dog away, leaving it to continue biting Jackson for about 30 seconds. Jackson could not escape since he was seated in the window seat, his attorney told the station.
Delta, which confirmed the report according to ABC News, removed the passengers from the flight while Jackson was taken into medical care; he later received 28 stitches. Mundy was not immediately charged and was moved to an alternate flight; the dog was placed in a kennel in the undercarriage.
"His face was covered in blood around his eyes, his nose, his cheeks, his shirt; he walked out, and he had a cloth over his face, and it was just completely bloody," passenger Bridget Maddox-Peoples told ABC10 in San Diego.
Delta's airline policy allows for service and emotional dogs in the cabin as long as they're properly trained.
A lawsuit has not yet been filed.