Monday May 03 2010
Pitbull attacks 91-year-old in backyard
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
Police shoot, kill ‘aggressive’ dog
Auburn police shot and killed a pitbull after it reportedly attacked a 91-year-old man Sunday. The victim suffered “severe” injuries to his left wrist, hand and fingers, which required more than 30 stitches to fix, according to Auburn Police Sgt. Dave Lawicka. At about 2:47 p.m., police dispatch took a report of a vicious dog attacking someone, Lawicka said. Police arrived at a home on the 800 block of Dairy Road and found an “aggressive” 80-pound male pitbull in the backyard of the victim’s home. Lawicka said the pitbull, which made its way over through a hole in the fence, cornered the 91-year-old man up against a tree. Lawicka, who was the first officer on scene, said he found the man in the corner and the pitbull standing about 15 to 20 feet away barking at the victim. Lawkicka said he yelled at the barking dog and pulled his gun out when it started to come toward him. “It came at me a couple of times and backed off when I pointed the gun at him,” Lawicka said. “We did that dance a couple times.” Two additional Auburn Police officers arrived and attempted unsuccessfully to hit the dog with a Taser gun and secure it with a catchpole. The dog escaped and fled west on Luther Road before officers found it in the Woodside Village mobile home park nearby, Lawicka said. Police again tried to control the dog using a Taser gun, but were unsuccessful, Lawicka said. “Due to the aggressive tendencies of the dog and the danger of residents walking in the area, the dog was shot on scene and subsequently died from the gunshot wound,” Lawicka said in a news release issued Monday. Lawicka added that police were afraid of what could happen if the dog remained loose. “We did what we could to try and take the dog alive but given the circumstances, the size of the dog, the dog’s aggression and what had occurred, we couldn’t allow the dog to run wild and loose among citizens with the potential of biting someone else,” Lawicka said. The 91-year-old male told police that he was working on a sprinkler line in his backyard when his neighbor’s pitbull came through a hole in the fence. Lawicka said another neighbor heard the man yelling and called police. Another police officer stayed with the victim until an ambulance crew arrived, Lawicka said. “He is home recovering,” Lawicka said. Lawicka declined to release the name of the pitbull’s owner, citing the ongoing investigation. He said police plan to forward the case to the District Attorney’s Office. Reach Jenifer Gee at firstname.lastname@example.org.