“They knew what they wanted and their mission was to kill the man," Stanley Lee told Fox.com about the pit bulls that attacked Joseph Finley while he was jogging on the shoreline of Lake Michigan on January 2, 2012. Lee lives in an apartment overlooking Rainbow Beach Park and his heroic actions that morning undoubtedly saved Finley’s life.
Joseph Finley is a 62-year-old sleep therapist who works nights at a hospital and regularly jogged around the shore of the lake in the mornings to unwind. He is still hospitalized after surgery for severe wounds during the relentless mauling by the two large pit bulls. He was at first given only a 50% chance of survival, reported the Chicago Sun Times.
His brother, Gregory Finley, spoke at a news conference at John H. Stroger Hospital in Cook County and stated doctors are now saying that Joseph will live. The victim had not yet been able to talk about the attack because of the tubes in his throat, but he was cognizant of what had happened to him. He was bitten over his entire body, including his face, arms and legs. “His injuries were extreme,” especially to his left leg, Gregory Finley said, “One of the doctors told me it was one of the worst attacks he’d ever seen.”
On Monday morning, January 2, at the time of the incident, Stanley Lee, a 35-year-old construction worker, opened his apartment window and saw the two 70-pound pit bulls had Joseph Finley pinned to the ground and were viciously ripping his flesh. “He was saying, ‘Help me, help me,’” Lee said.
Lee grabbed a wooden baseball bat and ran out to try to chase the dogs away. He hit the pit bulls repeatedly with the bat, to no avail. Witnesses said the attack went on for about 30 minutes before the police arrived “They just wouldn’t let the man go,” said Lee. Officers had to shoot the animals because they charged them when they tried to help Finley. http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/9795660-418/doctors-say-pit-bull-victim-will-survive.html
Jimmy Johnson, the owner of the dogs, lives nearby on South Coles Avenue, and came forward. He said the deceased pit bulls were named Uno and Bullet and both were unneutered males. Johnson was cited for not properly restraining the dogs and not having dog licenses--but was not criminally charged. Chicago Animal Care & Control officials said it appeared the dogs escaped through an open gate.
Johnson's neighbor, Valentino Jackson, told CBS, the pit bulls were "innocent little puppies” but when they grew older “they learned their evil side." He added, "We couldn't even take out our trash without them coming at us.”
Stanley Lee told Fox Chicago in an interview after the attack, "They was fighting dogs and that's what they do. They knew what they wanted and their mission was to kill the man. Normal dogs wouldn't do that. Stray dogs would never act like that.” Pit Bulls Attack, Critically Injure Jogger in Rainbow Beach Park: MyFoxCHICAGO.com )
Chicago Police spokesman Robert Perez told the Sun Times that his department attempted to get upgraded charges, but prosecutors believed there was not enough evidence to determine that the dog owner's actions were intentional. Officer Perez said that Johnson is scheduled to appear for an administrative court hearing in March.
"They must be held accountable," Gregory Finley, Joseph's brother, told the Chicago Tribune. "These two dogs almost killed my brother."
Chicago Alderman Robert Fioretti (2nd) called for the City Council to revisit stricter laws governing ownership of the controversial breed within city limits. He told CBS Chicago he has heard "nothing but bad" results from the ownership of pit bulls throughout the city and the time has come to "take a good hard look" at whether Chicagoans should be banned from owning the breed altogether when it reconvenes on January 18.