Three men were the victims of vicious attacks by two loose Pit Bulls on Friday within less than two hours in three separate incidents, Holly Hill Police report. All three victims suffered severe injuries. “We routinely investigate dog bites,” Police Chief Mark Barker said. “But it's unusual to see multiple dog attacks in such a short period of time.” (Holly Hiill is just north of Daytona Beach.)
Anthony Lewis, 44, who is employed at the Dollar Tree on Flomich Street in Holly Hill, Florida, rode his bicycle to the store at about 5:00 a.m. on Friday to see if they needed him to work. He said they didn't have enough for him to do, so he got on his bike and headed west toward State Avenue at about 5:20 a.m.
Lewis said he was listening to music from his earphones, when suddenly two large Pit Bulls lunged at him, one locked down on his left leg, the other on his right arm. “They came out of nowhere,” he told the JournalOnLIne. “They were just pulling back and forth, back and forth,” said Lewis as he described the manner in which the dogs yanked on his leg and arm.
The dogs knocked Lewis off his bicycle. He said he was struggling not to “fall down” because he was afraid the animals would go for his throat. He then saw a truck heading in his direction and he began to wave his right arm. The driver of the truck saw what was happening, jumped out and grabbed a baseball bat, Lewis said. He struck the Pit Bull that was attached to Lewis' left arm and the dog released its grip.
“The other one would not let go,” Lewis said about the second Pit Bull biting his right leg. “The truck driver who helped me grabbed him by the collar and the dog pulled back, taking a plug from my leg.” Lewis said he has to go back to Halifax Health Medical Center on Sunday for his injuries..
However, the deep, long gashes suffered by Lewis were not the worst police had seen that morning in the hour-and-a-half that the dog attacks occurred, according to JournalOnLine.
The Pit Bulls’ first victim, Billy Boles, 42 was seriously mauled by them around 4:00 a.m. His injuries were so severe that he required surgery, said Police Chief Barker. Boles was confronted by the two canines and was mauled just before 4 a.m., he said.
Boles were walking near State Avenue and Walker Street when he told police he spotted the two dogs . The canines were acting aggressive, Boles said, and he took off running. “He said he ran and the dogs went after him,” Barker explained. When officers arrived at Walker and State, they found Boles crouching by a utility box, screaming for help.
Boles was rushed to Halifax Health Medical Center where he underwent surgery for his injuries.“He had severe injuries to his left lower leg. He also had multiple bites to his arms and legs,” Chief Barker told JournalOnLine.
Just a few minutes after the attack on Boles was when the dogs came across Anthony Lewis on his bicycle and attacked him. During that time, officers say they were searching for the two dogs but could not find them.
Then the third attack occurred about 10 minutes after Lewis' was mauled. This time 69-year-old Frank Andrsano was their target, Chief Barker told reporters. Andrsano was walking along the 1200 block of Ridgewood near his apartment on his way to work. It was just after 5:30 a.m. “He was approached by the two dogs and he ran,” Barker said. Again, the dogs chased and caught another victim., leaving him with serious injuries to his arms and legs.
After Andrsano was taken away to the hospital, police found the two Pit Bulls at a house in the 1300 block of State Avenue, Barker said. The house is about two blocks from where Andrsano was attacked and almost three blocks from where Lewis was pulled from his bicycle and mauled.
The State Avenue home is where the Berkert brothers—Michael and Anthony--live with their father. Michael Berkert admits he owns one of the Pit Bulls, a male named Trip, who was involved in the attack. He said he was shocked to learn the 2-year-old Pit Bull had bitten anyone. Berkert said Friday the two dogs are kept inside, but Thursday night his sibling Anthony fell asleep and forgot the two canines were still outside.
Berkert said the dog has never been aggressive and he and his twin brother hope to get their pet back.
Berkert told the police that the second dog, a female named Roxy, belongs to a friend of theirs who is in jail. He said he and his brother had been trying to sell Roxy because they can't afford to have two dogs, according to the JournalOnLine.
On May 22, the Miami Herald reports that both Pit Bulls involved in the attack were surrendered and have been euthanized at the Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach. The owners decided to relinquish them rather than going to a hearing following the attacks on Friday, said Tyler Stover, a spokesman for the shelter.
RECENT PIT BULL ATTACK IN AREA
This was the second time in less than two weeks that loose Pit Bulls had viciously attacked local residents and left them seriously injured. Brandi Bookamer was bitten all over her body by a pack of pit bull-mix dogs near her Daytona North home on May 5 as she tried to protect her six year old daughter. The 27-year old mother threw herself into a drainage ditch filled with water to try to distract the dogs so that the little girl could run home. The young woman has been hospitalized twice for complications from the severe wounds since the brutal attack.