CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A man charged with malicious assault after he ordered two of his dogs to attack a woman earlier this month had his preliminary hearing Monday.
Zachary Atkinson, 20, of Cabin Creek, appeared before Kanawha County magistrate Brent Hall, who raised his bond from $5,000 to a $50,000 property bond or 10% cash. Another condition of the bond is that the dogs, two pit bulls, must be removed from the residence and the neighborhood where Atkinson lives.
Magistrate Hall also found probable cause for the case to be sent to a grand jury for consideration.
Atkinson was arrested Saturday, Sept. 2, and charged with one felony count of malicious assault after he attacked a 24-year-old woman, in an area of Hideaway Court in Cabin Creek. She had suffered severe injuries to her neck and rib area. The woman testified during the hearing Monday.
The woman said was attempting to walk home from a friends house in the neighborhood when Atkinson called out to her. She said Atkinson was mad at her about owing her money. She testified that an altercation ensued between her and Atkinson and that’s when he attacked her, holding her down on the ground and hitting her. Also, she said Atkinson at one point said to the dogs to “sick ’em.”
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Chris Krivonyak presented pictures of the wounds that the vicitm had suffered from Atkinson and the pit bulls to Hall. The defense, Krivonya, and magistrate Hall also looked at a video together that captured the incident.
The father of the victim, Joey Armstrong spoke following the hearing. He said the video is hard to watch but needed to be seen by those in the courtroom.
“I’m sorry he had to see that,” Armstrong said about magistrate Hall watching the incident. “It opened his eyes to how bad it actually was and how serious this case is.”
Armstrong is hopeful Atkinson receives the proper punishment for what happened.
“I feel hopeful that justice will be served,” Armstrong said. “That young man came an inch from killing my daughter.”
Atkinson is currently being held at the South Central Regional Jail.