Two Wisc. men charged for launching pit bull attack against restrained teen

Richard Lisko (left) and Joel Kennedy Sr. were charged with multiple felonies after they allegedly tied up Kennedy's teenage son by the ankles and commanded a pit bull to attack him
AP Photo/Fond du Lac County Jail
Richard Lisko (left) and Joel Kennedy Sr (right).
AP Photo/Fond du Lac County Jail

(CBS/AP) MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin man was arrested after he allegedly tied an 18-year-old by his ankles and ordered his pit bull to attack, while the teen's father helped. Prosecutors say that Richard Lisko ordered the attack because he suspected the teen of stealing his morphine and gold coins.

The 58-year-old Lisko is charged with false imprisonment, injury by negligent use of a dangerous weapon and substantial battery.

The teen's father, 43-year-old Joel Kennedy, is charged with being party to a crime of the same felonies, and also with failing to help a victim. A judge ordered Kennedy held on $50,000 cash bond and imposed a $100,000 cash bond on Lisko.

Prosecutors said Kennedy and his son, Joel Kennedy Jr., visited Lisko's home last Friday for the Labor Day weekend when Lisko began accusing the teen of theft. He then commanded his dog, Bubba, to attack, the criminal complaint said.

Joel told investigators that Lisko tied a dog leash around his ankles, and then Lisko and his father suspended his body from a porch rafter. He said the dog was ordered to attack him, and that he was kept upside down for about an hour.

The teen suffered cuts and punctures to his neck, ears and scalp that investigators said appeared consistent with dog bites and scratches. He also had rope burns around his feet and ankles.

"My dad helped the guy tie me up," Joel reportedly said. "I was dripping blood everywhere, all over the place. I kept thinking `What's going to happen to me? What's going to happen to me?"'

Kennedy told detectives he didn't try to stop Lisko "because he was paralyzed with fear that Lisko was a member of the Outlaw bikers," the complaint said. "He also stated that he felt his son needed to be taught a lesson."

Lisko faces unrelated charges of child abuse stemming from 2011 allegations that he repeatedly punched a boy who tried to stop Lisko's dog from attacking the boy's mother. A jury trial in that case is set for December.

Defense attorney Dan Stevens, who represents Lisko in the prior case and said he expects to be Lisko's lawyer for the new charges, said his client would never order his dog to attack a person.

"As far as I know (the 18-year-old) had taunted the dog in the past," Stevens said. "There was a bad relationship between the dog and the boy based upon a previous situation."

Joel said the attack ended when Lisko's friend, Harry Haack, stopped by and demanded the men release him.

"He's the only one who did the right thing," the teen said.

Haack said Lisko called him Friday at about 10 p.m., shouting for him to come over. Haack, 56, said he grew nervous when he saw Lisko's driveway was dark and few lights were on in the house. He walked cautiously into the house and looked around, and noticed what appeared to be laundry hanging from a clothesline on the darkened porch. Then he saw movement.

"I looked closely, and here I found this young kid hanging upside-down," Haack said. "I had to yell at them guys twice to take him down."

Haack, meanwhile, defended Bubba as "the nicest dog in the world."

"I've got 15, 17 cats in my shop. That dog puts up with my cats hitting him in the nose, stalking him down. Never bothers him," Haack said. "The only way that dog does anything is by command. He's so laid-back otherwise."