updated 8/12/2006 1:39:03 AM ET 2006-08-12T05:39:03

A man released pit bulls that attacked three people because he wanted “to see what kind of trouble he could cause,” prosecutors said Friday.

Bryan P. Smith, 34, of Independence, faces assault charges stemming from the May 4 attacks, the Jackson County prosecutor’s office said.

The owner of the dogs, Paul R. Piper, faces municipal charges.

Smith, who has posted bail, could not be located for comment Friday. But in an interview with WDAF-TV, Smith denied the charges, saying the dogs escaped accidentally through a window and he was told they were harmless. He said the house’s owner hired him to clean.

A man who lived next door to the house where the dogs were kept told police that Smith said he was planning to release the dogs “to see what kind of trouble he could cause,” according to documents filed with the county charges.

The neighbor said he later saw a window in the house open and the three dogs jump out. He said he saw Smith at the window, laughing.

The woman who owned the home where the dogs were kept told police she was planning to have the dogs removed. She also said she ran into Smith at the house and that he was laughing, saying he had just released the dogs to “cause some excitement.”

One man who was attacked suffered extensive bites to his arms, upper body, face and head and remained in an area hospital for more than a month. Police later shot and killed the animals.

Independence police charged Piper with several counts, including aggravated assault and failure to contain a dangerous dog. Those charges are still pending, police spokesman Tom Gentry said.

Piper told police he planned to remove the dogs himself when he saw news of the attacks and realized they involved his dogs. He later turned himself in. A number for Piper could not be found and it could not immediately be determined if he had attorney.

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