The Mechanics of a "Classic" Unprovoked Pit Bull Attack
Pit bull attack scene, Glencaren Court playground, and two men who helped rescue the child.
Anchorage, AK - Last Friday, a pit bull bolted out of a home and immediately attacked a 9-year old girl on a playground in Glencaren Court. The dog raced about 30-yards to the playground and latched onto the girl's head. While one man held onto the pit bull's collar, another man struck it hard with a crowbar several times. The pit bull eventually let go, but not before ripping off part of the child’s scalp. The dog then attacked both men until another man shot it in the head with a gun.
"That’s about the most scared I’ve been. Even when I was a firefighter, going into buildings that were on fire." - Rescuer Raymond Patterson
These elements, and more outlined below, are the basic mechanics of a "classic" unprovoked violent pit bull attack and why this breed is so dangerous. The only unusual aspect about this severe mauling is that three responding adults were men -- one a former firefighter -- and on hand quickly was a crowbar, pepper spray and firearms. Had this not been the case, the little girl might have died and there would have been more than one person seriously injured by the pit bull.
Video of Responding Male Neighbors
Before we dive deeper into the basic mechanics of a "classic" unprovoked violent pit bull attack, it is important to watch the web exclusive video by KTVA of neighbors Raymond Patterson, a former firefighter, and Jeremy Tui (scroll to see second video). Patterson witnessed the pit bull tear off the little girl's scalp -- he's still a little out of breath in the video. He also gives a blow-by-blow of the amount of force it took to get the pit bull to release. Tui is also present when the pit bull releases.
"The dog had ahold of her hair. What I saw, almost ear-to-ear, and it was being pulled down off of her scalp from her head." - Rescuer Raymond Patterson
The full video is transcribed at the bottom of this post. Please read the transcript to fully grasp a "classic" unprovoked pit bull attack. Then ask yourself these two questions. One: How many more would end in death without immediate human intervention, most commonly by law enforcement, trained and equipped to handle the task? Two: Why should any child in any neighborhood ever be exposed to this grave risk of injury? The pit bull problem is already 35-years old and counting.
"Classic" Unprovoked Pit Bull Attack
- The family pit bull suddenly bolts out of its home. The dog's owner is powerless to stop it for a range of reasons: lack of secure fencing, speed, strength or otherwise.
- The pit bull is instantly in full-scale attack mode. As soon as that door is flung open, the dog is in full-scale attack mode, any nearby person or animal could be its target.
- The pit bull immediately executes the killing bite. The pit bull latches onto to the girl's head, a purpose-bred bite to kill, and performs its ruinous hold and shake bite style.
- The victim screams to alert anyone nearby. Hearing the traumatized shrieking, nearby adults grab whatever tool they can find and rush to help the victim.
- Adults inflict serious or lethal force on the dog. In the Anchorage attack, one man repeatedly strikes the pit bull with a crowbar; another man pepper sprays the dog.
- The pit bull refuses to release its grip. The pit bull eventually does let go in this attack, but not before inflicting severe injury to the little girl's scalp and head.
- The pit bull is not finished attacking. After it releases the child victim, the pit bull then sets its sights on new victims. The dog just kept "coming and coming," Tui said.
- The pit bull is unfazed after shot in the head. Tui describes the pit bull after it takes a bullet to the head, "I'm like damn, and it was running, perfectly that way..."
- The pit bull has never shown aggression before. Pit bull owners always say they are "shocked" after a grisly mauling, and "the dog has never shown aggression before."
- No crime done. "It was an accident," police say. This is true in Alaska and many states unless there is evidence the owner knew of the dog's propensity to be vicious.
- No civil recourse for victim's injuries. Alaska is a One Bite state; the first mauling is often free. Even strict liability states fall flat when the dog's owner is uninsured.
The shock and horror of a sudden, explosive pit bull attack and the damaging injuries that result should be enough to regulate these dogs in every state. Add to this the degree of force needed to stop a pit bull once it has started an attack -- in this case three adult men, a crowbar, pepper spray and two firearms. Combined, these realities should end the "pit bull debate." But, there is more. As in many cases, this pit bull was not finished attacking after its first victim; it pursued more victims.
A "menace" is not a proper term for these dogs, a "hand grenade" is. And there is still more. After an unprovoked attack on a child causing serious injuries, even after the dog escaped its owner's property, police are often the first to say, "No crime done. It was an accident." Criminal prosecution is often difficult because one has to prove a criminal mindset of the dog's owner. Top that off with no civil compensation for the victim's severe injuries and few other conclusions can be drawn.
Do what Aurora, Denver, Omaha, Miami-Dade County and over 700 other U.S. cities have done. Either ban or strictly regulate this dog breed.1
When Patterson states the pit bull owner, "is a good kid," we do not doubt him. When Patterson states, "It's a pit bull. Those things are insanely strong. This thing is big; it's muscular. It has a neck probably the size of my thighs." Now we have a serious problem. He just declared what is self-evident about the pit bull breed and well known by the dog's owner, law enforcement, the courts and the public: These dogs are inherently dangerous. Ownership must be regulated.
Transcribed Witness Accounts
In the web exclusive video by KTVA, the two male neighbors give accounts describing the chaos, confusion and their resoluteness during and after the attack. The pit bull attack in Glencaren Court involved multiple guns and their owners too -- yet another interesting aspect. Anchorage police said that one handgun was fired once and shot the pit bull in the head. Tui could be referring to the pepper spraying, not more gunfire. This is not a full raw rolling segment. KTVA made some edits.
I get home, I live right across the street by where the fire truck is. I hear screaming. I thought it was kids playing outside, until I realized it was screams of pain coming from a little kid. I looked over, and I saw the tire swing moving. I saw somebody hitting towards the tire swing. I thought it was an older kid attacking a girl and then all of a sudden, I realized it was a dog.
When I got over here, the dog had ahold of her hair. What I saw, almost ear-to-ear, and it was being pulled down off of her scalp from her head. So it was serious injury. I think the majority of the blood that is on me is actually the little girl's...
I had barely gotten my door open. I threw everything and I ran over here. I know who owns the dog. The kid and I know each other. He's a good kid. So I come over and I grab onto the dog's collar. It's a pit bull. Those things are insanely strong. This thing is big; it's muscular. It has a neck probably the size of my thighs. I'm holding on, a gentleman from back over here comes in with a crowbar while I've got the dog's collar twisting, and he swings on that dog's head. Smacks him twice really hard. About that time the dog let go.
The little girl went running home. The boy went to help her get inside. Then the dog turned his attention on me. So I am sitting there, twisting with the dog going clockwise. At a certain point, I knew I was going to have to let go.
While the dog is coming at me, I am hitting, hitting ... I'm backing up trying to stay away from the teeth as much as I could. He starts lunging. I kick at the dog and he gets my leg. I'm going to have to go get a tetanus shot and get it all cleaned up...
The dog's loose, starts coming after me, I jump up on the equipment. The dog takes off. At that point, I run across the street, I grab my gun, come back over, and at that point, I was looking over here, there was a bunch of guys, other people who live here. I see somebody else with their gun ready to shoot the dog.
I'm standing right over here. I was waiting to see if the dog was going to try to attack. I was waiting for a clear shot. With work I have done, I have to know defensive, life and property rules, so I was waiting for a clear shot. I did not want it to accidentally ricochet and go flying and hit somebody. So I was waiting...
The dog starts lunging, the guy shoots, hits the dog. I think he got him in the abdomen. The dog takes off running and goes over to his yard, so at that point we were all starting to settle down a little bit...Jeremy Tui
I was out trying to build a little something for my mom. I heard all of this screaming. I thought, "Oh little kids playing. Out of control, doing their thing in the summer." It just kept going on and on and on. Finally, when it was about 5 minutes, I was like, "I'm going to go check this out."
I lean over and I saw the dog, the girl's head inside of the dog's mouth. I was just like, "What?"
I jump over the fence. I immediately ran over here and that's when they pulled the head off of the dog. He let go. They ran after him a couple of times. The guy who had the crowbar, I grabbed it from him. I swung and I hit him. He ran away, I thought that was it. He kept coming and coming and coming after me...
He came at me for his last time, I swung the crowbar and as soon as I swung the crowbar it slid out of my hands. Man, it was crazy because when it slid out of my hands, the dog lunged to my neck. It lunged to my neck. It was a split second, I got out of the way and I pushed the dog off. That's when it got my arm...
It wasn't going to stop, wasn't going to stop. The guy came back outside, he had a handgun and he sprayed it two times. Once, and right away, he sprayed it again. It didn't lunge at me ... I begged him, "put it down bro, put it down." He was aiming at his head and BOOM. That did not even stop the dog. At the angle I was looking at, it looked like he got his head. I'm like damn, and it was running, "perfectly" that way...
I was very scared, but it was a little girl. I was like, you have to put that to the side and do what you have to do.Raymond Patterson
I took him, myself, another gentleman that lives here to get this attack stopped.
The Unassuming Heroes Among Us
It "takes a village" to save a child's life from a vicious pit bull mauling, and it also takes a hero. Every year, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission presents its prestigious medal to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. The number of Carnegie Medals awarded to people who risked their life to stop a pit bull attack is overwhelming. The most recent recipient is Charles Jordan who saved the life of Monica Garza.
We salute Raymond Patterson, Jeremy Tui and the unnamed man who struck the pit bull with the crowbar, getting the dog to release. Without your lifesaving, heroic actions this little girl would have suffered even more devastating injuries and possibly even death. The DogsBite.org Community honors you as heroes. As of June 23, 2015 no additional information about the little girl's condition has been released. Anchorage Animal Care and Control took the attacking pit bull into custody.
08/31/15: Who Can Identify a Pit Bull? A Dog Owner of 'Ordinary Intelligence'...
05/29/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: 5-Year Old Boy Fatally Attacked by Pit Bull in Chicago
11/14/14: Aurora Voters Favor Keeping Pit Bull Ban by Wide Margin in First General Election Vote
07/02/14: Dr. David A. Billmire, MD: "There is no need for Pit Bulls" - Cincinnati Children's
06/25/14: Total Chaos: Husband Recounts Violent Pit Bull Attack Inside Patrolled, Gated...
03/13/12: Fort Wayne Citizen Witnesses The Extreme Violence of a Pit Bull Attack
05/05/09: Alexandra Semyonova: Heritability of Behavior in the Abnormally Aggressive Dog
First maul free blind spot from the 17th century…
What’s crazy is that if the property owner had rotten wooden steps and the kid fell through…he would get his ass sued off!
You are absolutely right. There is no common sense to these dog laws when it comes to dangerous dogs. NO ONE benefits from them except the owner of the dangerous dog. Public policymakers need to wake up to this reality. They literally need a hammer to come down on their heads.
Strict liability and prison time if you can't pay up.
I'd vote for that, and I am a dog owner.
If you can't pay for the potential damage, don't own the animal.
There should be no "free bite" for a mauling. If it's a bite that requires hospitalization the "free bite" should be ignored and the dog should immediately be euthanized.
A nice family pet can snap and give a warning bite. These bites rarely need anything more than a couple of stiches at WORST, most do not even break the skin. The victims do not need to be admitted to hospital, they get sent straight home after treatment in A&E.
A pit bull "bite" is more like being chewed up by a shark – how can they allow this to count as a "free bite" ?!
As a dog owner I too would support strict liability for the actions of ones dog.
The trouble is that even this generic, breed-neutral, common sense measure is bitterly resisted by the pit bull crowd, because they feel it unfairly penalizes pit bull owners.
You can't make this stuff up!
That bullet list really does cover virtually every pit bull attack I've ever heard of, and it describes 99% of the one I experienced. It's so frustrating to try to explain to people that no, this was NOT the same as that aggressive Dalmation down the street who runs off the porch after you every time you walk by. Not to say the Dalmation wasn't aggressive, or the attack wasn't serious, or that a few non-pit breeds haven't launched massive insane attacks – but 99.99999% of the time, an attack by any non-pit breed is NOT in the same league as that by a pit breed. The comparison that always comes to my mind is the difference between being hit by a car and being hit by a train.
The irresponsibility of the pit bull crowd unfairly penalizes the rest of us.
When I was attacked by a pit bull the beast lunged for my neck and caught my chest. I ripped away and he grabbed the back of my right leg. I broke away and he did not pursue.
I have said it many times since. I would rather be attacked by a human with a knife than a crazed, ignorant killer dog.
There is no reason for anyone to own this breed.
Geez, just simply reading about this event made me quiver. I can't imagine having to go through it, especially a young child! Thank the Lord that these men were able to save her and kill the beast.
This incident should be reason enough for these maulers to be banned worldwide. Unfortunately, most nutters can listen to all of the murders by their menacing mutts and they'll still be in denial. We need worldwide BSL.
I have been reading here a long time but, not really participating. I live in Ontario and there is a ban in place here. In the years before the ban two people were killed by pit bulls in my small city and they are not even a popular breed here. One was a young girl seven years old killed by the family pet and another was a young man walking down a busy street minding his own business when a fenced pit bull escaped and attacked him.
What has caused me to revisit this topic is that lately local voices to get rid of the ban are rising along with some odd incidents. This fall I attended a very large public event in our downtown. Kids, dogs, loud music, festival type of thing. I am walking through the busy crowd with my dog and there I see a small woman with an enormous pit bull on a leash in the crowd. The dog was not muzzled as those with grandfathered in pb's are supposed to do and was lunging every time another dog walked by. Then this month, someone with not one but, two Cane Corso's was frequenting a place where I go to bath my dog. A local business who thought nothing of having them there with every type of small, medium and large dog as well as children and other unsuspecting clients. Our ban states "any dog that resembles these breeds" is part of the pit bull ban to get around the way people change the name or breed to still own one of these sorts of dogs.
I am not torn on this topic. These dogs do not make good pets and are dangerous to our community. I do feel sorry for the animals in that people insist on continuing to breed, promote and sell theses dogs to unsuspecting and ill prepared new owners. Before our ban was put in place our local shelters were FULL of pit bulls no one would adopt.
The Cane Corsos are owned by a woman who is not at all able to restrain either one of those dogs let alone two. She is cagey about where she lives only stating a general location on her FB profile. *Yes, I looked!* I think her neighbours should know she is probably in contravention of our ban and that these big lumps are not just impressive and lovable but, should they go after you or your pet you'd stand little chance of fighting them off or surviving. They are a horrible accident waiting to happen. I cancelled an appointment to groom my dog at this business today because both Cane Corso's would be there at the same time. Sorry, I'm not taking any chances with my dog!!
We had two deaths in our relatively small community before the ban, as it is right now you are not even supposed to drive through Ontario with a pit bull yet here I see these dogs suddenly and people are ignoring the ban along with the advocates fighting hard to over turn it. The ban is working, there has not been one single death in our city due to a dog attack since the ban was put in place. Why then would someone want to overturn it? Why when there are literally thousands of good dogs without homes would someone feel the "need" a pit bull or other gripping dog? I understand loving dogs, I do too but, I want a dog that will be safe to all who enter my home or cross my path with the greatest degree of certainty, not the least. Yes, other dogs bite, they are dogs but, they almost never KILL and MAIM, these dogs do and there is no logical explaination once you realize that is the truth to justify someone owning one of these breeds at all. Whatsoever. I wrote to the province last year when lifting the ban came up as a government topic and argued they should not do it and they in the end did not but, with the voices that support these breeds spreading so much pie in the sky scenarios and marketing them as "misunderstood" I fear some well meaning, ill informed official will over turn it and put all of us at risk. I cannot tell you how much safer our dog park and community has been since the ban on these breeds was put in place! Yes, the bans DO work if they are worded correctly! I appreciate your efforts here and will keep up with this blog site!
It is propaganda following the herd. It is all that these Pitbull owners know to do. They cannot think for themselves comma they lean on want d Pitbull propaganda promotes. Also the mentality and psychology of pitbull owners is 12 research. It is very interesting
What's even worse is many times the mauler isn't even put down. ANY dog that harms a human or pet has no place in human society and should be put down without appeal, as close to immediately as possible.
I have a neighbor who has Two pitbulls. They attacked my dog on Monday and bit me.
The owners of the pits no I'm sorry or are you OK NORHING.
The dogs are allowed to quarantine at home so what does the owner do.. he sucks one of his killers on me (only a 4 foot fence between us) so the dog snarling charges me .. I take off running for my back door. The pit owner called his weapon off at the fence and thought it was funny. I called the sherifff and nothing was done. Quarantine did not matter, the owner telling his dog to attack did not matter. Texas law in dogs is worthless.
Ya know I am so scared of these dogs I have not sleep in days. I am scared for my family for my dogs. I will probably talk to the johnson county sheriff and see what help I can get. But the laws are non existent when it comes to dog owners and there dangerous dogs.
I personally know of some excellent, lovable pitbulls. I also know of some who I would have no trouble picturing committing the above acts. But I'm not naive enough to say "it's all in how you raise them." That's all well and good, and people can have the best intentions, but the unfortunate thing is that much of the recent stock of pitbulls comes from game bred dogs. A pitbull in drive is meant to grip their prey and not let go. It is meant to kill. It's in their nature as a breed. Hitting them, punching, kicking, what-have-you, only excites them and further escalates their drive.
Whether the poor dogs that were bred for the dog fighting ring, or the those who were bred to hunt like so many other breeds in the terrier group, these specific fight drives are bred into them so deeply that when you combine one with an inexperienced handler, trouble is not a matter of if, but when. The issue becomes serious when people don't know how to shut down a pitbull before its drive escalates. Redirection can be common in these cases, and then you may be witness to some of the attacks like those stated above. It's truly sad for all parties involved.
I live in a one bite state found out 35 stiches later & God knows how long outta work.Thank goodness it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Haven't heard from home owners yet it's been 3 weeks. Raised right are not dogs have bad days like people this is gonna be an expensive bad day
I ride bicycles everyday with my wife for exercise. We have been charged by pitbulls and rottweilers. I now have a concealed handgun license and am well trained in defensive handgun use. I will not hesitate to shoot an attacking dog to prevent crippling attack or death from ANY dog that comes at my wife or myself in a threatening charge. You can't count on pepper spray to save your life from these dangerous breeds of killer dogs!