Two Pit Bulls were at an abandoned school building undergoing renovation in Detroit for more than a year before they suddenly attacked 64-year-old Jessie Clarke on her own front porch on Tuesday afternoon on Charles, near Conant, according to mlive.com. The attack was described by witnesses as “relentlessly violent.”
Numerous people attempted to stop the dogs, using a pipe, an anti-auto-theft device similar to the "Club," and, finally, an off-duty police officer who was passing by shot them.
As family members stood in shock behind a police line at the steps of the victim's home after the gruesome attack, her son, Dwaine Clarke, told reporters,"It was a crazy-ass scene... I blacked out at that point, after I arrived home.”
"When you walk past the school, you can always hear them, all times of day and night," he said about the Pit Bulls. He was describing the former Cleveland Middle school building, which is now undergoing renovation, according to the report.
Two witnesses said they saw the woman's son beat the two Pit Bulls--one brown and white and the other tan color--with a pipe, but it having no effect on them.
One man said the dogs were also intermittently attacking the Good Samaritans who tried to stop the gruesome mauling, and one man was bitten. Another man hit the dogs repeatedly with a heavy auto-theft protection device similar to the Club, witnesses told mlive.com.
A total of six people were trying to beat the dogs off, they said. One dog would attack and chase off the crowd while the other continued to maul the helpless woman.
It ended when off-duty Detroit Police Officer Tyrone Gray stopped and used his handgun to shoot the dogs. Witnesses described that one of the Pit Bulls ran several lots away and died; but before it died, it tried to attack the victim one more time.
The attack lasted between 10 to 20 minutes, during which Jessie Clarke was conscious, according to reports, and suffered severe injuries to her head, scalp and arms.
"There were two pit bulls, at which time the elderly woman, after being mauled, was lying unconscious on the ground," Officer Gray said. "This is the worst thing I've ever seen in my career, 15 years."
Gray chased the dogs back to the school building and said the dog seemed "familiarized" with the school and workers inside. Witnesses said the larger of the two Pit Bulls appeared to have been shot in the head and was bleeding profusely as it ran past construction workers. It was still being sought by police at about 5:30 p.m..
It is unknown whether there will be criminal charges if the owner is found, but it is now believed that the two Pit Bulls may have been kept as guard dogs at the school during renovation.
Detroit police said Jessie Clarke remains in critical condition.