Shelli DeRobertis 5:08 p.m., June 19
A Valley Center man was in court today, pleading not guilty to charges that he failed to control two dogs which reportedly attacked joggers last November.
The incident was called “a pit bull attack” in which “two young men fought off the dogs but were both severely mauled,” in a statement released by San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
Jose Ledesma, 40, admitted that he was watching the dogs for their owner that day, November 27, 2011, according to an investigator’s statement found in court files.
The alleged victims said they were running on a dirt trail near Valley Center Middle School when they were attacked by a group of six dogs — the dogs appeared to come from the San Pasqual reservation land nearby, according to animal control officer Joni Palumbo.
Officer Palumbo made a photo lineup of “nine different dogs” and two alleged victims “positively identified” a pair of dog suspects – the dogs were named as “Darla” and “Muffs.” Officer Palumbo said these dogs are owned by Gabriel Vallez and that they were photographed on “nearby Nyemii Pass Road” and “matched the description given to me by the victims.”
Ledesma has pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor charges and remains at liberty on his own recognizance. He is next expected in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse on October 29.