The Balbi family lives in a charming, quiet community in Half Moon Bay. But they say they live in fear.
Michelle and her son Luca were on a walk Friday with their dog, Louie, when their neighbor's dog attacked them.
"I don't feel safe here, I don't feel safe for my family I don't feel safe for the community," Balbi said.
Knowing their neighbor's dog had a history of being aggressive, she had started recording on her phone when they first saw the dog. Within seconds, it was running towards them.
The Balbi family live in a quiet community in Half Moon Bay. But they say they live in fear.— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) July 3, 2019
They are one of 6 families to have a restraining order against a neighbor. After that neighbor’s dog attacked them, they decided it’s time share their story. More soon on @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/lXSmK1qc7x
She dropped the phone, but on the video she is heard screaming for help.
Balbi said the dog bit her finger and scratched her right calf. He then turned on their dog and pinned him down.
"In that moment, I'm thinking it's either my life or my dog's or my mom's," Luca said.
Despite their cries, the Balbi family says their neighbor was laughing. Eventually, they say he grabbed his dog and pulled it away without offering an apology.
The Balbi's are shaken up, but not surprised. Michelle Balbi said for years this neighbor and his dog have terrorized the community. She said her family is one of six to have a restraining order against him.
Mike Alifano, who owns Alifano Technologies in Half Moon Bay, is one of them.
"The death threats, the altercations, the continued harassment," Alifano explained when asked why he got a restraining order.
These are pictures of Michelle Balbi’s injuries. Her dog Louie was hurt, too. Although she hopes the dog that attacked her is not returned to her neighbor, she feels sorry for him. “The dog is doing what it’s been trained to do,” she said through tears. “It’s not the dog’s fault” pic.twitter.com/sWnnNDbHor— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) July 4, 2019
ABC7 News spoke to two other neighbors who confirmed they have restraining orders against the neighbor and that they have reported interactions with him to the police.
Animal Control with the Peninsula Humane Service would not comment on the recent incident, saying it is an active investigation. Reached by phone, a spokesperson for the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department said they would look into the incident.
The neighbor was not home when we knocked and did not respond to our phone call, but Michelle Balbi said he did turn his dog into animal control during the investigation.
Balbi, however, says she feels sorry for the dog.
"The dog is doing what it's been trained to do," she said. "It's not the dog's fault."
Still, she is asking for something to be done, even though she's terrified.
"There is going to be retribution," she said. "I am terrified for my safety and my family and that he's going to do something."