A rampage by two loose Pit Bulls in the Silicon Valley city of San Mateo, California, on Wednesday morning forced police officers to run down the dogs with a patrol car in order to stop their vicious string of attacks, SFGate reports.
The decision to finally ram the dogs with the police vehicle was made after repeated attempts to deter the pair using an air horn and attempts to block them with the police vehicle had failed, and they were running toward the campus of Stanbridge Academy, a school for children with learning disabilities in the 500 block of East Poplar Avenue.
The first of several people who called the police that morning reported that he had been attacked and almost bitten by two large Pit Bulls in the 600 block of Woodside Way around 9:35 a.m., according to a news release from the San Mateo Police Department.
Responding officers tried to distract or corral the dogs— which weighed an estimated 55 to 70 pounds each— repeatedly as they attacked a landscaper, who fought them off with a leaf blower, according to police. A photo of the leaf blower displays deep punctures to the metal from the dog bites.
The diversionary tactics employed by the officers then resulted in the Pit Bulls clawing and attacking the side door of the patrol vehicle, states San Francisco CBS Local.
After losing interest in the car, the dogs ran south toward the San Mateo High School. Police dispatchers alerted officials there to keep everyone inside, police said.
More officers arrived, but they still could not corner the dogs.
“...Officers watched as the dogs sprinted towards a woman with two children in a stroller, forcing the woman to shield the children with her own body as the animals grew closer,” police said.
Police were ultimately able to direct the dogs away from that woman and her children, using their horns and shouting at the animals to divert their focus. However, the dogs then went after yet another woman and child.
“The dogs then proceeded westbound on East Poplar Avenue where they barked aggressively at a second woman and small child waiting in the crosswalk,” the Patch reports.
When it became obvious that the agitated dogs could not be contained and were heading toward Stanbridge Academy, a brief clear space enabled an officer to hit both dogs with his vehicle, killing one on contact, according to SF Gate.
The other dog got up and retreated to its home, which was less than a quarter mile away, police said.
The dogs' owner helped San Mateo County Animal Control Officers capture the second Pit Bull. While they were taking a report at the residence, police received a call that another woman who had been bitten by both dogs earlier that day needed treatment. The victim had suffered puncture wounds to both legs and her biceps, police said.
The San Mateo Police Department issued the following statement, “It is always our first intention to respond to and remedy aggressive or wild animal incidents in the most humane manner possible. It’s unfortunate that the events of this incident did not allow for that to happen.”