In the second recent Pit Bull attack on a high-ranking police official, Bradford Assistant Police Chief Dave Chaffin is at home recovering from an attack by two Pit Bulls police said were running loose the city on Thursday. He was attacked while responding to a call that the dogs were roaming on East Main Street early that morning, according to officials. (Chief of Police Jeffrey Ferguson of St. Ignatius, Montana, was also recently attacked by two at-large Pit Bulls and may have to undergo surgery for his injuries. See story below.)
Chaffin reportedly followed the dogs in a patrol car to a house which turned out to be where the dogs’ owner lives. According to police, both Pit Bulls charged Chaffin in a driveway as he stepped out of his patrol car, knocked him down and bit him several times, rolling the Assistant Chief into the street.
Investigators said he was able to reach his gun and he fired a shot to stop the attack and scare them away. “He does have the one puncture wound to the leg and then the rest of his injuries are on his arms, and abrasions and scrapes from where he was on the ground rolling around with the dogs,” Patrolman Brad Hardin said.
Police said this attack could have been avoided if the dogs had been secured properly, and they said this isn’t the first time an officer or city employee has been injured or put in danger by animals running at large in Bradford.
Sandra Montgomery, the dogs’ owner, told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News her Pit Bulls are always secured. She said she doesn’t know how they got loose but they are “very sweet and have never bitten anyone before.”
Montgomery believes her dogs would only bite when provoked. “That didn't make sense either. Not when I'm seeing him chase my dogs down the road from their property and he took a shot at them and missed,” she told reporters.
Princess, she doesn’t even hurt a cat and Fathead he's the youngest one… he just wants to lick and play,” said Montgomery.
“I think he honestly done something to make my dogs, either one of them, bite him.”
Neither Pit Bull has current vaccinations. Police said they were both taken to the animal shelter to be quarantined until a judge decides their fate.
“Were going to enforce our zero tolerance policy,” Hardin said. “We are going to take it the full extent of the law.”
Montgomery was given a summons to appear in general sessions court for allowing the animals to run at large. Police said she could be civilly responsible for all medical bills in this case.
This incident is categorized as the worst animal attack on a Bradford Police officer to date.
Assistant Chief Chaffin was treated in the emergency room for his wounds. There is no indication how long he will be off duty.
MONTANA POLICE CHIEF SEVERELY WOUNDED BY PIT BULL ATTACK
The owner of a Pit Bull that attacked and severely wounded St. Ignatius Police Chief Jeffrey Ferguson pled guilty last week to charges of having two unlicensed dogs and one dog at large. However, he withdrew a guilty plea for owning a vicious dog when he learned it could mean the Pit Bull would be euthanized.
If convicted of the charge, Jeremy Samsel, the dog’s owner, could face up to $600 in fines and six months in jail.
Describing the attack, Chief Ferguson said, "I looked down and just saw blood dripping on my arm, the Taser itself, and onto my boots."
The attack caused a lot of bleeding. Ambulance crews bandaged Ferguson's wounds, and he was taken to a hospital. He is facing surgery for damage caused by the injury.