Aggressive, roaming dogs cause closure of state park on Whidbey Island

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FORT EBEY STATE PARK, Wash. - Fort Ebey State Park was closed Wednesday as rangers searched for two aggressive dogs that bit a man and caused a woman to seek safety in a park bathroom.

 

Park Manager Jon Crimmins said he came face to face with the two dogs late Tuesday afternoon.  He said they looked like pit bulls and were incredibly aggressive.

 

"(They) began growling and showing their teeth and barking," he said.

 

>>> A park manager said that the roaming dogs appear to be pit bulls. Pit bulls are a controversial breed -- what is your opinion of them? Weigh in on Facebook.

 

Crimmins was called after the dogs began aggressively following a man and a woman who were out for a hike.  When the man took a swing at one of the dogs with his water bottle, the dog bit his leg.

 

At one point, the couple decided to the safest thing to do was split up. Rangers said the woman locked herself in a restroom to get away from the dog. Cell service in the park is limited, but the woman was able to get a text message out to her mother, who called park rangers.

 

Crimmins' partner pepper-sprayed one of the dogs when it approached his car.

 

Crimmins and his partner returned Wednesday morning with an animal control officer to search for the dogs, but haven't found any sign of them.

 

Crimmins found a large pile of dog food.  He said he thinks someone simply left the dogs in the park.

 

The hiker who was bitten was treated and released from the hospital.

 

Rangers will decide in the morning whether to reopen the park on Thursday.