2 women, 1 girl hospitalized following dog attacks
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- Three separate dog attacks across Miami-Dade County in a single day sent two women and a little girl to the hospital, Friday.
Officials said 62-year-old Lucretia Escobar was rushed to the hospital after she was bitten by the American bulldog of the family she was visiting. Around 3:45 p.m., fire rescue crews responded to the scene on the 4200 block of Northwest 183rd Terrace in Miami Gardens.
Escobar was caring for an elderly friend, the owner's grandmother. Both women were in the back patio, and that's when Chucky, an American bulldog, lunged at Escobar.
Orlando Pastrana, the owner's grandson, said he had never seen the family dog attack anyone before this incident. "The thing is, she was one of my grandma's friends, so I guess ... the dog touched her, and he thought she was aggravating him, so he attacked her," he said.
The owner's grandmother shielded her friend with her own body, but the canine would not be deterred. "This dog kept coming after her round after round," said Chris Akins, one of the Good Samaritans who came to Escobar's rescue. Akins described the scene as "a lot of chaos, people screaming."
Nearby resident Willie McClee came up with an unorthodox idea to stop the attack. "Nobody had anything to get the dog off of her, so the first thing I saw was the shopping cart," he said. McClee grabbed the cart and cautiously approached Chucky. "I hit the dog on the back, and the dog broke away from the lady and lunged at me," he said. Witnesses said Akins ultimately used a palm frond to separate Chucky from his human targets.
By the time Pastrana arrived at his home, it was all over. "I wasn't here, when I got here, they'd already separated her and everything," he said. His grandmother suffered minor bites to the hand.
Chucky's owner said the victim was "OK" but had a bloodied face. Witnesses said the canine focused on Escobar's head, particularly her hair, when he attacked her. Paramedics airlifted the victim to Jackson Memorial Hospital, and she is now listed in "guarded" condition.
Escobar's ordeal was not the only canine attack that rocked Miami-Dade Friday afternoon. Police said outside a Southwest Miami-Dade home, two dogs, an American bulldog/Mastiff mix and a Boxer mix owned by a little girl's grandfather chased and attacked the 4-year-old after the rope holding them snapped. After rescue crews rushed the girl to Miami Children's Hospital, Miami-Dade Animal Services officials took the dogs away, as well as three others in the house.
Police said a few hours after this incident, two pit bulls attacked a 56-year-old woman as she worked on a fence in Cutler Bay. She was rushed to JMH after a neighbor pulled the dogs off of her.
Officials confirmed Chucky and the two pit bulls were euthanized. They said they were not up to date on their rabies shots. It is still unclear what will happen to the five dogs taken from the Cutler Bay home.
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