JACKSONVILLE FL - A PIT BULL "SOMEHOW" GOT LOOSE AND ATTACKED A RUNNER IN THE DONNA MARATHON AT ATLANTIC BEACH
A local woman said she was attacked by a pit bull while running the Donna Marathon race, and the Atlantic Beach police are investigating.
Julie Stackhouse said she was about a mile out from the finish line near Sherry and 4th street, when a dog viciously attacked her.
“In all my years of racing, I’ve never encountered anything like that,” Stackhouse said.
The attack left her with stitches and she ended her race headed to the hospital. Stackhouse is a personal trainer and this year was her 10th year racing in the Donna Marathon.
She said this year was special to her because her mom was previously diagnosed with breast cancer and she was celebrating her survival.
“My mom was diagnosed exactly one year ago with triple negative prior to the Donna race. Knowing that you’re running for something much bigger, it can mean something to a lot of people,” Stackhouse said.
But one mile from the finish line, things took a turn for the worse when she was attacked by a dog.
“I tried to avoid it, I tried to run away from it and prevent it, but it just happened,” Stackhouse said.
She said she threw up her arm to prevent the dog from biting her in the face and it latched on to her arm.
“I have six stitches, I have never had stitches in my life, so I guess I have a battle scar now,” Stackhouse said.
When she crossed the finish line, she needed medical attention.
Action News Jax reached out to the dog’s owner to see if they wanted to comment and they refused. However, Stackhouse said she is looking forward to next year’s race, but she hopes dog owners are more prepared for the race.
“Dogs they need to be leashed, especially with thousands of runners coming through an area,” Stackhouse said.
Atlantic Beach police said the owner of that dog has been cited and fined since the incident. The dog was also put on home quarantine per the Department of Health request.