NEW HAVEN -- Police have arrested a dog owner on drug charges three days after his pit bulls viciously attacked a woman.
New Haven Assistant Police Chief Anthony Campbell says that Jocelyn Winfrey, 53, remains in a medically-induced coma, and extremely grave condition after two pit bulls attacked her. She's had her leg amputated and has lost her eyes--not just her eyesight, as previously reported--and will likely have an arm amputated. It's unclear if she will survive.
Dr. Hamilton Hicks, 36, who works at the Yale School of Medicine, was charged with misdemeanor possession charges because he had crack cocaine, and police say they could add charges related to the dog attack, especially if Winfrey dies.
Campbell told FOX 61 this is the most gruesome attack he's seen, and was so bad that officers who tended to her are being offered counseling.
On Monday night Winfrey was attacked by Hicks' two dogs in the yard of a home on Ella Grasso Boulevard. She was with the owner of the two pit bulls when the dogs attacked, and they also turned on their owner.
Winfrey was familiar with the dogs.
According to Animal Control, the dogs will likely be euthanized due to the nature of Winfrey's injuries. Usually on regular dog bites we give the animals every opportunity, but because of the seriousness of this injury, we have to do what we have to do," New Haven Animal Control Officer Joseph Manganiello told FOX 61 on Wednesday.
New Haven Alderman Brian Wingate, who lives across the street from where the attack occurred, said he was doing yard work when he heard screams.
"My next-door neighbor started yelling, saying 'the dog is attacking a female across the street,'" said Wingate. Neighbors ran over to help, and neighborhood kids threw rocks at the dog to try and stop it. "We were jumping over, throwing rocks at the pit bulls as the pit bulls were just basically eating her up."
Assistant Chief Campbell says those kids are being offered counseling as well by Yale's child studies program.
The alderman described the woman's injuries on Tuesday night to FOX 61, before he learned that she'd lost her arm, leg and was now blind. "It was, when I say horrific, it was horrific," said Wingate.
Campbell says if there is anything positive to come out of this horrible tragedy, it's that there is a conversation citywide about pet ownership.
"We have instructed our officers to be aware of any dogs that may be roaming to make sure that owners have their dogs on leashes and to have that informative conversation with people," he said.
Alderman Wingate said that they are discussing a citywide ban on potentially vicious pets, including, but not limited to pit bulls.