Police in a suburban Detroit community are investigating allegations that a mob of white men sicced their dog on a Black resident.

According to local station WXYZ, William Lafave, who was among the accused group, told Roseville, Mich., police his 19-year-old stepson only released his dog on the man because someone had informed him he was violent and had pulled out a knife.

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“That’s why the dog was let go and the dog did his job to make sure he protected me from getting stabbed by the individual,” explained Lafave.

Despite his claims that it was all a misunderstanding, reporters spoke to three witnesses who say they were at the scene and gave a much different account. They all recounted how it was Lafave who played the aggressor and also said the allegedly targeted young man was unarmed at the time of his assault.

The 20-year-old alleged victim is said to be recovering from multiple bite wounds and had to receive stitches and be given a tetanus shot when he arrived at hospital. He said he also clarified that he was never in the possession of a knife or any other weapon when Lafave chose to confront him. It is unclear if the confrontation was racial in nature.

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The fights reportedly stem from an ongoing romantic dispute between two teenagers, that exploded on social media and incited some of those involved to appear at Lafave’s home, in hopes of confronting his stepson.

Cell phone video even includes audio of the teens saying that the stepson had invited them over for a fight. In addition to the young man who was mauled by his dog, at one point Lafave is also seen punching a 17-year-old. When asked about it he said he believed he was protecting his family.