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Police: Man found dead after freak crash near local restaurant wasn’t shot, he was bitten

Police initially thought the driver had been shot, but an autopsy report shows he was bitten by...
Police initially thought the driver had been shot, but an autopsy report shows he was bitten by a dog. (File)(Hewitt Police Dept.)
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 11:40 AM CDT
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HEWITT, Texas (KWTX) - Leon Peysen, 70 of Hewitt, who was found trapped beneath his SUV on May 6 with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to his neck after a freak crash, was not shot, but instead was bitten by a dog, Hewitt police now say.

A preliminary autopsy report showed the wound on Peysen’s neck was from an animal bite rather than a gunshot, Hewitt police Chief Jim Devlin said.

Officers initially suspected Peysen had been shot because a gun was found in the wreckage.

Peysen suffered a severe head injury in the accident.

The autopsy report shows he died of blunt force trauma and positional asphyxia from not being able to breathe after he was trapped beneath his overturned SUV in the accident, which happened just before 9:45 a.m. on May 6 in the 500 block of North Hewitt Drive near Hewitt Eyes and Chopsticks restaurant.

Investigators have determined Peysen pulled into a parking lot, rounded up three dogs, a Husky-like dog that was his and two others that belonged to someone else, and put the animals in his SUV.

Security video shows he started to slowly back out and then suddenly accelerated.

The SUV struck the business’ sign and overturned on the driver’s side.

Peysen fell out as the vehicle overturned and ended up pinned beneath the SUV.

One of his dog’s paws was also pinned.

The other two dogs ran off.

Police don’t yet know why Peysen accelerated as he backed up.

They also don’t know which of the three dogs bit him, why he was bitten, and whether the bite occurred before, during or after the SUV overturned.

Peysen’s dog did have blood on its mouth when first responders arrived, Devlin said.

An animal control officer was called to help free the agitated dog, which was biting parts of the vehicle to try to free itself.

A local animal advocate took the injured dog to a veterinary hospital.

Hewitt police are now working with the Woodway Public Safety Department to reconstruct the crash and investigators are awaiting the final autopsy report.

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