In the early morning hours of November 30, Carmen Almonte said she was awoken by her son, James Cruz’ screams, as a friend’s dog Cruz had been taking care of began attacking his wife.
You see how this narrative reads? It's HER fault, according to them.
When Rochester police officers arrived to Rockview Terrace, they say they found 33-year-old Maria Schaffer lying on the ground unclothed and the large pit bull wouldn’t let go of her.
Officers said Cruz was yelling to shoot the dog because it couldn’t be controlled.
|Jamie Cruz (aka James Cruz) with the pit bull that |
tried to kill Maria Schaffer
That’s when officers shot and killed the dog. One of the bullets did go astray, striking Cruz in the abdomen.
On Saturday, Cruz pleaded not guilty to assault in the first and second degree.
This comes after police say he intentionally set the dog on Schaffer after a domestic dispute.
|A witness said she was by this pile of leaves, so|
exhausted that she wasn't even struggling or screaming
any longer while the pit bull was "chewing on her"
However, Almonte and Cruz’ best friend Erica Kowalski said it’s all been a misunderstanding.
“It is not his dog,” Kowalski said. “He has not owned the dog. He only had the dog for about two weeks, so he didn’t trust the dog. He would not let anyone in the house if the dog was out of the cage.”
Although Schaffer and her family declined to comment, Almonte said Schaffer was in the bedroom and Cruz told her to stay in there because he was taking the dog out of its cage for a walk in the backyard.
They said for some reason Shaffer came out of the bedroom and that's when the dog attacked her.
“It makes me feel angry that they accused him of something that he didn’t do,” Almonte said. “As a mother, I know he didn’t.”
“I think it’s a cover up because they know they did wrong,” Kowalski said. “There was no reason for that many bullets. I mean her [Almonte’s] house has seven bullets in it. She sat in that window right there as those five bullets came past her head. The kid’s room is up there, and that is where one of the bullets went.”
Almonte and Kowalski said after the incident they found out the dog had bitten several people in the past. They also said Schaffer did not live in the home and was just visiting.
Almonte said Cruz is suffering from a severe infection in his liver from the bullet.
Police say Schaffer underwent at least 10 surgeries and is still recovering in the hospital.
Clarifications: In previous reports, police have characterized the relationship of Maria Schaffer and James Cruz as an on-again-off-again relationship. The defendant’s mother told Time Warner Cable News in a recent interview the couple was married.
(TWC News - Jan 12, 2017)
- New York: Woman mauled by her boyfriend's pit bull is in critical condition; police shot and killed dog
- New York: Thomas Simonsen says pit bulls attack ONLY when they've been trained. What about all the people and their children mauled by their pit bulls, who they'd raised, with love, from a puppy?
- New York: Police say James Cruz, 34, purposely sicced his pit bull on his ex-girlfriend
- New York: Woman who was attacked by her boyfriend's pit bull had to have her arm amputated