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Jul 1, 2014

2 pit bulls maul a fisherman to death – Minister is not under investigation

Jeffery O'Brien

On Friday night a resident of Independence was savagely mauled by vicious dogs while coming home at around eleven thirty from a fishing trip. The attack happened on a deserted stretch of road which connects the lagoon to a residential area known as Malacate. Twenty-three year old Jeffery O’Brien was bitten all over his body. He was found shortly after by the owner of the dogs, but bled to death by the time he was taken to the Independence Polyclinic. There is some measure of sensationalism to the story after reports that the vicious dogs are owned by Minister Joy Grant, who has a home in Malacate near where the attack occurred. Today News Five went looking for answers and Mike Rudon has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

This is the exact spot where twenty-three year old Jeffrey O’Brien was attacked by dogs as he headed home from a fishing expedition in the nearby lagoon. Apparently it was a trip the young man would often take late at night. But on this night he was attacked by as many as four dogs who rushed him in the dark.


Jennifer O’Brien, Mother of Deceased

Jennifer O'Brien

“The Police find the net and the bicycle and the fish weh he gawn fishing cause he had wah net weh he ketch fish. He always go deh go fishing and I always used to scold da lee bwoy and he no listen. I always used to tell ah bout dah lagoon long time but children today day noh listen sir.”


Just minutes after the attack the victim was found by seventeen year old Wilson Matute who called the Police…they rushed him to the Polyclinic but within seconds of arriving there Jeffery O’Brien went into shock from loss of blood. Doctors attempted to resuscitate him but it was too late. The pictures are too graphic to be shown here, but the young man was bitten all over his face, neck, shoulders and legs. One of his arms was almost ripped from his body by the savage attack.


Jennifer O’Brien

“I was sleeping in my bed when I heard my son call my other son and tell him that they got a report from the Police that they found his brother dead. So we went to the Polyclinic and when we went there he was already dead.”


The property bordering the stretch of road on which O’Brien was killed is owned by Minister Joy Grant. This is the Minister’s home, and this small cement structure is the home of Wilson Matute, the caretaker of the property. This morning we saw two dogs in Grant’s yard, tied under the house, while near the caretaker’s home we saw more dogs. But although the dogs are used to protect Grant’s property, they belong to Matute. He has allegedly accepted responsibility for the incident.


Francisco Garrido

Francisco Garrido, Uncle of Deceased

“We went the morning and spoke to the guy…the guy said, well…I let go the dogs…it’s not that they escaped. First he told us they escaped but because we pressured him, talking to him about mein how four dogs can escape…then he told us that he left the dogs loose because he went to buy and nobody was around to mind the areas so by the time he came back he found the dead man, my nephew. He was found like about fifty yards away from the property of the said Minister who owns the house. He pointed us four different dogs…one at the bottom of the Minister house, two behind the house…the third dog was behind the security booth and the fourth dog was right there with the security.”


That’s the family’s version, but Independence Police told us this morning that they are still trying to ascertain who owns the dogs. They confirmed also that Minister Joy Grant is not the subject of any investigation in relation to the incident because they know she does not have any dogs. So who then is taking responsibility for the death of O’Brien? Well that’s exactly what the family wants to know.


Francisco Garrido

“Ms. Joy Grant we try contact she…fu she driver answer we that she lef everything in the hands of the attorney…fu weh reason attorney. Attorney noh even know weh happen. The lady noh even know weh happen…she just get the message. These people need to have more caution with these animals. You could never have these dogs running around and not have a proper, secure place. Somebody has to be responsible for this, and that is what we are looking after. We are trying to talk to the owner of the dogs, to the person whosoever…someone has to be involved. Somebody has to know what step we can take because these dogs cannot be alone right so because it’s not the first incident. Its three attempts the dog have made to an older person, a young lady and then finally the young man they caught who is dead. So we believe that we need to get the dogs, get the owner and work along with them. We don’t want revenge, we don’t want to take anything, because we could go there and mash up whatever supposed to get mash up…but that is not the appropriate way. We believe that the owner should come up with us, help in whatever way they can and let us bury the young man and done.”


As we left today the family was preparing to hold a wake. Jeffrey O’Brien will be buried tomorrow in Independence. Reporting for News Five, I am Mike Rudon.


Today Independence Police told us that they have not put down any dogs, and cannot just arbitrarily do so. A Police release this afternoon does state that they have taken possession of two dogs.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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11 Responses for “2 pit bulls maul a fisherman to death – Minister is not under investigation”

  1. Rod says:

    Unu need fu sue joy grant regardless if the dogs belong to her or her watchman they are still responsible for the death of this young man wow in our country now even the ministers are getting away with murder what a crying shame unu lucky this wasn’t one of my family this minister should be locked up if it was anybody else they would be in jail right now

  2. Rod says:

    And the next big coverup has begun

  3. belizean@heart says:

    COVERUP AGAIN, somebody have to be responsible,the security for leting loose the dogs,he have to go to jail.

  4. Elias C says:

    Just for clarification. This thing pictured above is not a pitbull. Bad press for the breed has begun.

  5. ray says:

    this is a crying shame people need to take respobsibility and in this little country it a shame

  6. macal rivera says:


  7. H@tari says:

    You cannot tell me that the neighbors don’t know who owns the dogs. The owner is responsible and must be charged. If these dogs were security on her property, even if she didn’t own them, she is liable also. That is the law . . . but will it be enforced . . . against a minister, I doubt it.

  8. Elvis says:

    Lots more will be killed by pitbulls… because belizeans are irresponsible…they care less and have no understanding on how to train/raise dogs. shame…

  9. oscar says:

    this udp all of them starting from pablo marin on the north to that grant on the south are the tyrants of this nation .

  10. Ernest Acosta says:

    The dogs need to be put to sleep. They will do this again. Sounds to me like the caretaker will take the rap for this but the minister should come clean as well.

  11. Germaine B. says:

    is the dog in the picture the dog that was involved in the incident? if so ya’ll need to chill out with that
    PITBULL Bullshit.

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