Sandusky police commanders are crediting two officers for saving a 74-year-old man and his small dog from pit bulls that attacked them Friday on Water Street.
The victim, Paul Aviles, suffered several bite marks on his hands and arms. His dog, a Jack Russell terrier, sustained unknown injuries but survived.
One of the attacking pit bulls died after police zapped it with a Taser.
Officers were called to the 700 block of E. Water St. at about noon.
“Officers observed two pit bulls around a male subject lying prone face down on the ground,” a Sandusky police report said. “This subject, later identified as Paul Aviles, was lying still on the ground with these two dogs circling around him. They kept on nudging at Aviles as if they were attempting to get to something underneath him.”
Sandusky police Officer Brad Wilson jumped out of his cruiser and yelled at the dogs, one of which charged at him. He zapped one dog with a Taser, prompting both animals to run off.
“When Aviles stood up he was holding onto a small dog,” the report said.
Aviles and the dog were covered in blood. Officers put them into the cruiser, then ran after the pit bulls.
One of the pit bulls fell down, then got up and charged, the report said. When an officer zapped it with a Taser again, it died. Officers then snared the other dog and took it to the Erie County dog pound.
Aviles initially refused treatment and seemed more concerned about his dog’s injuries, the report said. Officers drove him and the Jack Russell to a nearby veterinarian.
Paramedics soon took Aviles to Firelands Regional Medical Center, where hospital staff stitched up his wounds before releasing him.
At the hospital, Aviles told police he drove to Battery Park to take his dog for a walk, and as soon as he got there the pit bulls attacked from behind.
“He grabbed his dog up and curled it into his arm,” the report said. “He went to the ground and laid facedown with the dog between his chest and the ground.”
Police tracked the pit bulls back to 42-year-old Rebecca Hush, who was cited with two counts of dog at large.
Sandusky police Chief John Orzech credited Wilson and the other officer for saving Aviles and his dog.
“They did a good job getting the dogs away from him and then quickly getting him in the cruiser,” Orzech said. “It could have been much worse.”