OJAI (CBS) — A veterinarian in Ventura County was attacked by a man upset that his dog died during a surgery.
Dr. Steve Sallen, of Ojai, was operating on Scott Wayne Doombos’ dog when the rare African breed passed away, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. The female dog, “Zeeka”, was being treated for a life-threatening infection.
Upon hearing the news, Doombos drove to the veterinarian’s office and confronted him. Doombos said he was upset and attacked the animal doctor, causing him serious injuries.
Sallen suffered a broken nose, severe bruising and swelling to his left eye, where he had stitches applied.
“I’m terribly, terribly sorry that that had transpired. I had no intention of hurting anybody or anything,” Doombos said.
“We lost our loved one and I’m sure that [the veterinarian is] upset at losing a patient,” Doombos said. “It’s just something that went terribly wrong and, unfortunately, my dog was caught in the middle of this.”
Doombos drove to the Ojai Police Department and turned himself in Thursday, authorities said.
Police said Doombos was arrested and will face a felony charge of battery with serious bodily injury. He was booked in the Ventura County jail and posted $20,000 bail. Doombos said that the incident was his first criminal offense.
Doombos admits that emotions were high and that tempers flared on both sides after he found out his best friend and family member died while in Dr. Sallen’s care.
“I talked to my dog like a child and told her everything was going to be OK and that she was going to be just fine. And, then, for that to happen, I can’t believe after the reassuring phone call [came] the disheartening phone call,” Doombos said.
He said no one at the Ojai Village Veterinary Hospital explained to him why or how Zeeka died.
Dr. Sallen would not appear on camera but family members told CBS2 that the injuries were disturbing and that the assault was unprovoked.