Victim Grateful To Passerbyer
UPDATE 04/11/08: Gabriela Munoz is hospitalized, recovering from her injuries, but has no anger for the dogs' owner (at least not yet). Munoz says she was walking to pick up her kids from school when five pit bulls appeared from nowhere and began attacking her.
Munoz escaped the attack thanks to a total stranger. Francisco Rodriguez pulled his van alongside her, pulling her to safety. He said the he opened the back door to the van and she jumped inside. Munoz is thankful to her hero and is excited to return home to see her children.
The owner, Cristian Hidalgo, also ran to Munoz's aid and tried to fight the dogs off with a stick. He says the dogs broke free from his backyard. He admits, "Most of the blame should be put on me because I guess I didn't shut the door properly to make sure it was closed."
04/10/08: Owner Blames Victim
Chicago, IL - In a city that did little to regulate pit bulls after the most savage attack recorded in recent history, the Chicago Pit Bull Rampage, we come to another horrifying attack. This city outlaws foie gras -- the abusive practice of force feeding ducks -- yet fails on a massive scale to protect people from pit bull dogs.
The Chicago Sun Times reports that a passerbyer helped fend off five pit bulls that were attacking a woman on Marquette Park street, leaving her with life-threatening injuries. A man passing by in a van apparently used his van to scare the dogs off, authorities said. He then dragged the woman into the van and called for paramedics.
She was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. The owner of the pit bulls, Cristian Hidalgo, 32, received four citations for each of the five dogs: failure to maintain a dangerous animal, failure to maintain the animal under restraint, no license and no required rabies vaccination.
Hardly a penance for a woman left with life-threatening injuries after being attacked by not 1, 2, 3, or 4 pit bulls but 5.
The Chicago Tribune reports the story differently and offers praise to the pit bull owner. They write that Cristian Hidalgo tried to beat the dogs back. When that didn't work, he jumped on top of the woman, trying to act as a human shield. But even Hidalgo, who raised the five dogs, couldn't stop them.
"I'm really confused," Hidalgo, 32, said as he pointed out the site of the attack, which occurred across the street from his home. "People were honking their horns, people were yelling -- everything that wasn't a good combination. I covered her, and they bit me up too a little."
The five pit bulls kept biting until someone drove by in a van threw the vehicle in reverse, jumped the sidewalk and pulled the woman inside. Neighbor Judy Bernal, said as she got closer, she could see that the woman was bleeding badly. The car seat was covered in blood, and pieces of the woman's [flesh] were everywhere.
Hidalgo was inside his home when he heard barking and shouts. He ran onto the front porch to see the dogs he had just locked inside his fenced-in back yard loose and huddled near the screaming woman. He crossed the street and got the canines to follow him to his yard. But distracted by the commotion -- the screaming -- the dogs kept going back toward the woman.
"What was freaking them out was how she was behaving," Hidalgo said. "She wouldn't stop screaming."
One of the dogs went up on her chest and pushed her down, he said. When she hit the ground, they started biting her ankles. With a stick in hand, Hidalgo tried to fight the pit bulls off. Bernal said, she could see Hidalgo swinging the stick. "The dogs were bleeding from everywhere. He really hit them. He really tried to get them away from her."
Note to self: Do not scream when being attacked by 5 pit bulls. You will get blamed for the attack if you do.