Man who died in possible dog mauling at La Loma neighborhood home identified

Modesto Bee file

The 21-year-old man who died from an apparent dog mauling in the La Loma neighborhood was identified as Dustin Bryan, Modesto police said Wednesday.

Bryan was discovered by family members with whom he was staying in the 100 block of Village Road at about 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Modesto Police Sgt. Kalani Souza said the preliminary investigation suggests that Bryan was possibly attacked by one or both of two pit bulls that live in the home. He said that until an autopsy is conducted and a cause of death determined, the man’s death is being treated as suspicious.

One of the family members at the home said the dogs have never been aggressive in the past, but one neighbor said she’s witnessed their aggression.

Zenia Luna, who lives behind the Village Road home, said the pit bulls repeatedly snapped at her dogs through the fence and her husband had to nail plywood to the fence several times to repair holes they’d created.

She said the dogs also charged her 9-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son when they went trick-or-treating at the home last year.

They “came barking out, pushing the screen door open and my son ran but my daughter panicked and just stayed there,” Luna said in an email. “Luckily my husband ran and picked her up. They are very vicious dogs.”

Luna said she didn’t report any of the incidents, and Souza confirmed that no complaints have been made against the dogs but said neither was licensed.

The dogs were taken by Animal Control and are under quarantine, Souza said.

Erin has been covering breaking news and crime at The Modesto Bee since 2010. She is a Humboldt State graduate and resides in Oakdale.