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Two men charged in dog attack

MEDFORD — Two men accused of attacking a man walking with his wife and dog on Riverside Avenue appeared in Jackson County Circuit Court Monday to face assault charges.

Michael Lee Mullins, 40, and Samuel Robert Bennett, 52, were each arraigned Monday on charges of second- and third-degree assault. Bail for each was set at $100,000.

The two are accused of urging a dog to attack another man, then punching and kicking him, Medford police Detective Sgt. Mike Budreau said.

The 59-year-old victim was walking near the OK Market at 1202 N. Riverside Ave. in Medford at around 1:30 p.m. Sunday with his wife and dog when Bennett and Mullins approached with their own dog, Budreau said. The man asked the two to restrain their dog, but instead, Mullins sent the dog after the couple and their pet, Budreau said.

The man tried to grab the large yellow dog, but it bit his hand and leg. Then, Bennett and Mullins began to punch and kick the man, Budreau said.

When police arrived, the victim had cuts and bruises on his head and reported that he thought he had lost consciousness at one point. He was taken by ambulance to Providence Medford Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, Budreau said.

Officers restrained Bennett, then chased Mullins down a nearby embankment, where he slipped and fell into Bear Creek. Police went into the creek to pull Mullins out of the cold water and handcuff him, Budreau said.

Police went to a camp where the two men were staying near Bear Creek and there spotted the men's dog, which ran from them, Budreau said. They couldn't catch it, so officers will continue to check that area and try to capture the dog.

Mullins initially was arrested on charges of second- and third-degree assault, menacing, second-degree disorderly conduct and failure to register his address as required of a sex offender. Bennett was arrested on charges of second- and third-degree assault and second-degree disorderly conduct.

Other charges might be added to the court cases after a grand jury review, authorities said.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail aburke@mailtribune.com.