Witness to dog mauling: 'I'm glad nobody else got hurt'
Waleed Issa yelled at two children to step back Tuesday as they ran toward their mother who was lying in her neighbor's yard in Pittsfield Township, bleeding as two American Bulldogs stood just a few feet away.
The woman, identified by family members as 45-year-old Dora Castro, had blood on her face and arm and was holding two Chihuahas that were bleeding, Issa said.
"Her kids started running out and I told them to step back because they could get killed," he said.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Castro suffered serious injuries and her Chihuahuas died after the mauling by the dogs that Issa estimated weighed at least 100 pounds.
"It was sad," Issa said. "I'm glad nobody else got hurt."
Issa was among many people who rushed to Castro's aid after the 3:50 p.m. attack on Maple Drive.
Issa's mother dialed 911. Issa kept his distance from the dogs, standing 20 feet away. Another neighbor approached the large white dogs with an umbrella, Issa said, attempting to shoo them away.
The dogs became more aggressive, Issa said. They stepped toward Castro and started barking, he said. Then, a man drove up in a truck, got out and used a large stick to shoo the dogs away, Issa said.
Castro was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, where she received numerous stiches to her face and hands, said her daughter, 27-year-old Angelica Sierra.
Castro also suffered a broken ankle, Sierra said. She was expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon. The American Bulldogs were seized and taken to the Humane Society of Huron Valley, where they were euthanized Tuesday night, officials said.
Sierra said her mother was holding the dogs, 3-year-old Pancho and 10-month-old Thalia, in her hands and was walking down the driveway when she was attacked. She was planning to get in her car and drive to the bank, Sierra said. Castro told Sierra that the dogs managed to get through a chain link fence in the neighbor's yard and attack her. Issa said that after firefighters arrived on scene, the dogs' owner whistled and made a motion and the dogs went back to the house.
A man who answered the door this morning at that home declined comment. Pittsfield Township police are investigating.
Lloyd Quicksey, 67, who lives in the neighborhood and often walks his dog past the house where the American Bulldogs lived, said the dogs didn't show any signs of aggression. Quicksey said they've been at the home for at least five years and the owner always keeps them behind the fence. He said the dogs didn't bark at his dog.
"I've had no problems with them," he said. "No issues with them. They didn't do no aggressive talking."
Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.