The graphic images were taken from the doorbell of Doris Mixon Smith, who was 72 on March 6, 2017, when her next-door neighbors’ pet somehow got out of its yard and attacked her — for at least five minutes — as she was gardening.
Mixon Smith’s arm was severed just below the elbow, and the skin and flesh on the right side of her face was ripped and torn, from the eyebrow to her chin.
Stanyelle Miles-McCloud and Alphonso McCloud, the dog’s owners, are on trial, accused of serious bodily injury and not securing the animal in their yard in a horrific case involving a dangerous dog attack in a city where roaming and loose animals are considered to be a growing problem.
Jurors wept as they watched the short three-part video, entered into evidence by prosecutor Daryl Harris. It began with Mixon Smith on the ground, with the dog’s jaw locked on her arm. The video camera in the doorbell was activated when she told the child to push the button.
It dragged Mixon Smith and violently shook its head with her arm in its mouth. Streaks of blood were visible on her front porch on what was a sunny afternoon in the 8900 block of Mansfield on the far West Side.
Once police arrived, the child was heard saying, “Don’t shoot my dog,” as three shots were fired. The dog twitched after it was shot, and the last image was of Mixon Smith’s body nearby, part of her arm missing.
Before the grisly images were shown, jurors heard recordings of two chilling 911 calls from a neighbor, who can be heard frantically yelling expletives as he tried to get police and emergency medical technicians to quickly respond.
“There’s a pit bull attacking a lady outside! Come help this lady right now! Right now!” said the scared caller.
In the background, his children’s screams and those of Mixon Smith could be heard.
In a second call, the frantic neighbor tells his children, who are crying, to stay away from the window as he pleads for police to come.
“The lady is bleeding, the bone is showing! Oh, my God, someone get here please! I don’t know what to (expletive) do!”
Shortly after police arrive, the caller can be heard on the recording telling them, “Shoot it! Shoot it! Shoot that (expletive) thing. (Expletive. Expletive. Expletive. Expletive),” as gunshots are heard in the background.
Oscar Linares, a Fire Department emergency medical technician who was one of the first on scene, told the jury he has responded to many calls for a dog bite, but that Mixon Smith’s injuries were like none he had ever seen.
“The lady was lying on her back and had a tourniquet up high (on her arm), she had a left arm amputation, injuries around her face and breathing problems,” he said.
Linares used a pointer on crime scene photographs in front of a projector screen behind Judge Joey Contreras to show the extent of Mixon Smith’s injuries.
Linares said she was bitten “through and through on the face,” and looked as if the skin and flesh had been ripped off from her eyebrow to her chin, exposing the muscle. Her arm, severed by the dog’s teeth, left an exposed artery.
Linares, who stood in front of a projector screen behind Judge Joey Contreras, showed the jury areas where the muscle on the right side of the victim’s face was visible and where it had been torn and ripped.
Defense attorney Kenneth Baker, representing Alphonso McCloud, told the jury in his opening statement that no one knows exactly how the dog escaped the yard. He said both defendants are liked by their neighbors and that no one else on the block had issues with “Bully.”
He said although the incident is tragic and “horrible,” the dog was protecting his property because Mixon Smith was known to mow the McClouds’ lawn when they had not, which a neighbor who lives across the street confirmed in testimony.
Baker also told the panel that “Bully” acted out because of his memory of Mixon Smith, whom Baker said would antagonize the animal with the lawnmower each time she mowed the lawn and would park it against the fence with the motor running.
This is called "blaming the victim" for having their face and arm ripped off by a Pit Bull.
Prosecutors Harris and Nicole Phillips said Mixon Smith had a history of complaining to the McClouds about their dog getting loose, and that the fence was not secured with a lock.
They said the dog also had bitten at least two other people.
Testimony from a neighbor across the street indicated that the day Mixon Smith was attacked, no lock was on the outside part of the gate.
Defense attorney Edith Brown, representing Stanyelle Miles-McCloud, waived her opening statement.
Roaming animals are considered to be a growing problem in the Alamo City. Last year, Animal Care Services issued more than 11,000 citations to owners whose pets were found roaming. The agency estimates that more than 13,000 will be issued in 2018.
ACS spokeswoman Lisa Norwood said there are a number of “bites” cases that occur each year, but “attack by dog” cases that cause serious bodily injury, such as in the McCloud case, are rare.
She said 36 dangerous dog cases were filed in fiscal year 2017, and of those, 15 required hospitalization for serious bodily injuries. Twenty-three cases have been filed with nine requiring hospitalization for serious bites so far for fiscal year 2018.
A dangerous dog attack that causes severe bodily injury is a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Testimony is expected to resume this morning in 187th state District Court.
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