Dog in Montclair bite-incident passes quarantine
BY LINDA MOSS
A dog that bit a man outside Raymond’s restaurant has completed a 10-day quarantine and showed no signs of rabies, Township Communications Director Katya Wowk said Wednesday.
The dog, which officials said was a Labrador-retriever mix — not a pit bull, as the police report of the incident originally described it — under state law had to be quarantined after the Aug. 12 biting incident. That day, the canine’s owner told patrons at the Church Street eatery that her pet had never acted violent or attempted to bite anyone before, according to a police report on the incident.
The dog owner was identified only as “Megan” of West Caldwell in the report, which Montclair Local obtained after filing an Open Public Records Act, or so-called OPRA, request. The report did identify the bite victim as David Richard Waer, 50, of Montclair, who went to the hospital and began getting rabies shots shortly after being bitten.
On Saturday, Aug. 12, the Montclair Police Department was called to HackensackUMC Mountainside to investigate a report of a dog bite, the police report said.
When the officer arrived, Waer said that he was “walking south on Church Street, in the crosswalk, when he spotted a woman, later identified as Megan, with two dogs sitting at an outside table at Raymond’s,” according to the police report.
Waer told police that “as he walked by one of the dogs, described as a cream-colored pit bull, the dog leaped five feet and bit his right forearm near his elbow,” the report said.
Waer’s fiancé, Bridget Soyka-Smith, posted about the incident the day it happened on the Share Montclair Facebook page. She said an emergency room doctor insisted that Waer get rabies shots.
Township officials have declined to comment on the dog's owner, when they were able to get in contact with her and why she allegedly left Raymond's after her canine bit Waer.