A pack of six Pit Bulls escaped from a yard in the 1200 block of South Troy Street on Chicago’s west side on Saturday and critically injured 25-year-old Nikita Hampton Taylor during a vicious attack, according to police.
Witnesses say that Taylor was just walking in front of the house in the Lawndale area when he dogs ran toward him and somehow got through a gate. “I heard the dogs, which I’ve heard before, then I came outside and this guy is fighting for his life,” witness Jewell Edwards told NBC Chicago News..
“I don’t know if his arm is still on. The skin pulled off the side of his face,” she said.
Police said the exact number of attacking dogs was not known, but they were biting Taylor’s face and arms.
Walter Fields, who claims to be the owner of some of the dogs, said there were six dogs total-- four of which he owns and two others that belong to his brothers.
Neighbors said they saw the dog owner holding back two dogs by their collars, but said he could not gain control of the others.
During an attack which lasted ten to twenty minutes, witnesses told NBC that they ran over with bottles, cans and bats to try and scare the dogs away.
“A guy pulled up in a Cadillac in an alley and took out a baseball bat, another guy pulled up and got a chain to help,” Edwards said. “This was a pit bull frenzy, they were tearing him up.”
Others claim that they knew the dogs are vicious. “I don’t even walk by that fence because they are out of control,” said one neighbor.
Field’s claims it is Taylor’s fault that he was attacked. He says his dogs are “nice” but Taylor was taunting them by kicking the fence.
“The dogs got loose and attacked the man,” he told NBC. “He provoked the dogs to attack him. The chain fell off when he kept kicking the gate, then the dog pushed the gate open after he kicked it a couple times and they ran through after the chain fell,” he said.
“They are my babies. My dogs are good dogs. Sure they will bite--any dog with teeth will bite, especially if you provoke them,” he said.
Taylor's father, Shawn Taylor, told ABC Local News that he was returning from the store when he saw that a dog attack was going on. “I still was going to help but when I realized it was my son. He was so covered with blood, I didn't know what to do," said Shawn Taylor. "I was half-scared so I just picked up a brick and I hit one of the dogs. They started to charge me and luckily some good Samaritans jumped out of their cars and started helping me fight the dogs off."
Chicago Animal Care and Control confirmed that a "dangerous dog investigation" is pending but, because the dogs had been secured by the time an officer arrived, they could not be legally taken at the time. They also said there is no city ordinance or law that dictates how many dogs a person can own, according to NBC Chicago.
On Sunday an Animal Control spokesman confirmed that the six dogs were impounded as a result of the preliminary investigation and will be held as long as needed.
Chicago Police said 13 citations were issued, six were for not having required licenses for the dogs, four were for failure to keep the animals under restraint, and three were for lack of rabies vaccinations. They also advised that a hearing is scheduled for October.
Fields said he received more than a dozen tickets from police after the incident. “I have lots of tickets, too many tickets,” said Fields. “I don’t see why [I wouldn’t be able to keep the dogs]. They don’t randomly bite people," reported NBC. He also commented that he does not train his dogs to fight.
Nikita’s father, Shawn, told ABC he is convinced the dogs were going in for the kill, biting his son more than 40 times on his face, back, arms and legs. Nikita is recovering after surgery at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
Source: ABC, NBC