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ANKENY, Iowa – An Ankeny man is in the Polk County Jail after police say he intentionally riled up a pitbull at a party earlier this month, trying to get it to attack someone, then stabbed it to death when it turned on him.

Juan Moreno Martinez, 33, is charged with felony assault causing serious injury, two aggravated misdemeanor counts of assault while displaying a dangerous weapon as well as serious misdemeanors animal neglect-death and trespass.

The incident happened at an apartment building in the 500 block of NE Delaware Ave. in Ankeny in the early morning hours of June 6th, according to a criminal complaint in the case.  

Sgt. Corey Schneden with the Ankeny Police Department tells WHO 13, Moreno Martinez stopped by a gathering of some friends’ at the apartments and was trying to incite a fight between people there. He went and got a friend’s dog, identified in the complaint as a “Cane Corso Pitbull”, and the complaint says he was intentionally “agitating the dog, knowing it’s[sic] past behavior when worked into a frenzy, in an attempt to intimidate the victim.”

A woman stepped into the middle of the confrontation and tried to break it up but the dog attacked her. Police say she suffered a significant injury to her arm and the dog’s jaws had to be pried from her arm.

The dog then attacked Moreno Martinez and he suffered significant bites to his leg and arm before he killed the dog by stabbing it in the head and neck several times.

Moreno Martinez was arrested Thursday. He’s also being held on probation violations.