GAINESVILLE, ALACHUA COUNTY FL - 5 LOOSE PIT BULLS TERRORIZE A GAINESVILLE NEIGHBORHOOD: PITS ATTACKING PETS OUTSIDE, CRASHING INSIDE A HOME TO ATTACK A PET, MEN BEAT OFF PITS WITH BASEBALL BATS, POLICE SHOOTING PITS, PITS BEING HELD DOWN BY MEN UNTIL THEY SMOTHERED!!!!!
Two dogs that marauded through a northwest Gainesville neighborhood, in which a pet dog was killed in a September mauling, were killed Friday night and a dog they attacked was injured in the latest of a series of canine attacks.
Five dogs described as PIT BULLS owned by Reynaldo Davila, 5901 NW 30th Terrace, got through a damaged fence and began terrorizing the Northwood Pines neighborhood.
Residents captured two of the dogs, one of which was killed by a Gainesville Police officer. The other was likely suffocated by the residents trying to hold it down, said GPD Inspector Jorge Campos.
Northwood Pines is the neighborhood in which Bella, a small mixed breed owned by Linda Swinburn, was killed in September by pit bulls that had escaped from the home of owner Nathaniel Pettiford, a street over from Friday night’s attack.
Resident Virginia Brissette and Campos described a street under siege at about 8:30 p.m. when the dogs escaped.
“Five dogs came from Rey Davila’s yard...They are running amok in the neighborhood. They were running at a couple that had a dog in their yard. A dog chased the woman into the house, menaced her and attacked their dog,” Brissette said. “The husband was able to pry the pit bull off their dog and slam him against the wall, and the dog just kept going.”
That couple was Dustin and Amber Banks with their dog Lucy. Once Banks made sure his dog and wife were OK, he grabbed his baseball bat and ran down the street to the home of Wayne and Ingrid Carney, where dogs were attacking their beagle-mix, Penny.
They eventually got the dogs off Penny, who was taken to the emergency clinic at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Carney said she has wide, deep wounds and added that the concern is the wounds will get infected.
Meanwhile, two other dogs were attacking a third canine farther down the street. Campos said an officer was directed to that house and found several residents holding down dogs.
“One of the guys holding it was pleading for help, saying he was fatigued and couldn’t hold it anymore. The officer instructs him to release the dog. The dog was still aggressive so the officer shoots the dog and dispatches it,” Campos said. “The owner shows up at this point and says he can control the other dog. When they let go, the dog had died, probably from suffocation from them holding him down.”
The officer who shot the dog was Cpl. Dylan Hayes-Morrison, a member of GPD’s K-9 unit, Campos said.
Five dogs were confiscated by Alachua County Animal Services, including the bodies of the two dead dogs. Campos said no charges were filed against Davila.
Davila said he feels badly about the incident and apologized to the Carneys.
“It wasn’t meant to happen. I’m glad everybody is OK and the dog is alive. I lost two of my dogs,” Davila said. “I didn’t want anybody to get hurt. At least for that I am thankful.”
Animal Services Director Ed Williams said the three dogs that were impounded will likely be processed under the county’s dangerous dog ordinance. If that happens, Davila would have to have the dogs neutered, get insurance on the dogs, ensure they are confined and meet other standards. If he doesn’t, the dogs will be euthanized.
Carney said THE PIT BULLS ESCAPED THROUGH A ROTTED PORTION OF DAVILA'S WOOD FENCE AND INTO HIS YARD THROUGH AN OPENING IN HIS CHAIN LINK FENCE THAT HAD EARLIER BEEN PRIED OPEN BY THE DOGS. They ran down the street and had been spotted by Amber Banks. “I heard them coming down the street. I heard a loud ruckus going on. I was like, ’Baby, there’s three pit bulls coming this way. (One dog) kind of locks eyes on me and starts running at me,” Amber said.
Continued Dustin, “I went inside to get my baseball bat. By the time I came back, Amber was screaming. I open the door and see three pit bulls and Amber on the ground. Two run off and I open the door and tell Amber to get in. Lucy was there and it locked eyes on her and, whoom, right through the door.”
Dustin Banks said the pit bull latched onto Lucy’s neck. He pried its jaws open once but it locked on Lucy again. He pried them again and flung it against the wall. “I was like, OK, it’s now or never — this thing is going to kill my dog. With God’s strength I was able to pry those jaws off. I slammed it and opened the door and threw it out,” Dustin Banks said. “It’s only by the grace of God and my faith that I was able to do it.”Banks grabbed his bat and ran down the street after hearing neighbors screaming.
Carney said he saw Banks walking down the street with a bat and opened the door to see what was happening. “That’s when I saw two of the dogs in my front yard. In a brief seven-second exchange (with Banks) Penny snuck out the door, saw a third dog and ran up to it to chase her to play,” Carney said. “Unfortunately, they did chase her and then all three of them were latched onto her.
I started punching and grabbing the dogs so they would let go. Nothing was working. (Banks) was hitting them with the bat. We were able to get one off and then work on the other two. Then the other one was on her.” Eventually, Carney was able to lift Penny up when the three pit bulls let her loose for a second.
Carney and Amber and Wayne Banks said they have nothing against pit bulls but said owners need to ensure that their dogs do not get loose.
Brissette said Davila’s dogs have escaped before and have been reported to Animal Services and police.
“Neighbors on every side of (Davila) have contacted GPD and or Alachua County Animal Services to ask for help,” Brissette said. “It’s a big deal. This is not the first time these dogs have gotten out.”
Several dog attacks have occurred recently:
On March 8, Kinnamon Tanner, 2, was fatally mauled at the home of his aunt in High Springs by two dogs that were in the yard.
Lorraine Anderson was injured and her dog Tico killed on Feb. 26 while they were walking in Palmetto Villas. Anderson was injured trying to save Tico. The culprits were two neighboring dogs that had gotten through a hole in the fence.
In December a puggle named Fred was killed as he being walked in an Alachua neighborhood by Arlene Stewart, who was injured, by two dogs that got out of a house unexpected.
Also in December, a Gainesville boy was injured while riding his bike by a dog that got out of the house. It also killed a cat.
The attack on Bella and Swinburn in September began the series.