Thursday, June 23, 2016

Connecticut: New Haven woman loses arm, leg, eyesight after her friend's two American Bulldogs attack

CONNECTICUT -- After being given just a 50/50 chance of survival following a dog attack, a New Haven woman is still fighting to recover in the hospital as she deals with severe injuries.

Jocelyn Winfrey was seriously injured after she was attacked by two American Bulldog mixes outside a New Haven home Monday evening.

At 7:45 p.m., New Haven officers responded to a home at 1519 Ella Grasso Boulevard on a report of a dog attack. According to police, Jocelyn Winfrey and the dog’s owner, Hamilton Hicks, of New Haven, were attacked.

Hicks and Jocelyn were reportedly attacked as soon as they walked on to the property, where the dogs immediately began to bite the woman. When Hicks tried to pull the dogs off of her, he was repeatedly bitten himself.

Police said a neighbor heard the commotion and tried to help by grabbing a broom. The neighbor told police that neighborhood kids were also throwing rocks at the dogs to try to get them to stop biting the woman.


“I seen two dogs just biting on people,” said Trayzon Sherman who ran to help. He said he started throwing rocks, a trash can and yelled at the dogs.

Peter Pervis said, “Chunks of skin were missing from her and everything.”

 New Haven Alderman Brian Wingate confirm to FOX 61 that the woman lost her arm, her leg and her eyesight as a result of the attack. He said he spoke to Animal Control, who said the dogs would likely be euthanized due to the nature of the victim's injuries. Animal Control confirmed this to FOX 61.

"Usually on regular dog bites we give the animals every opportunity, but because of the seriousness of this injury, we have to do what we have to do," said New Haven Animal Control Officer Joseph Manganiello.

On Tuesday, Wingate, who lives across the street from where the attack occurred, said he was doing yard work when he heard screams.

"My next-door neighbor started yelling, saying 'the dog is attacking a female across the street,'" said Wingate. Neighbors ran over to help.

"We were jumping over, throwing rocks at the pit bulls as the pit bulls were just basically eating her up."

The alderman described the woman's injuries on Tuesday night to FOX 61, before he learned that she'd lost her arm, leg and was now blind. "It was, when I say horrific, it was horrific," said Wingate.

Wingate also told FOX 61 that she went into cardiac arrest twice en route to the hospital.

The Office of Emergency Management Deputy Director Rick Fontana says the 911 call came in as one dog attacking. It’s protocol for the dispatcher to not send any fire personnel in that instance.

Police, animal control, and an ambulance responded.

Fontana says they plan to increase all responses to animal bites in the future.

The dogs have been taken to an animal shelter, and placed in quarantine.

(WTNH - June 22, 2016)

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