TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A Taunton police officer had to get creative while helping a woman who was being chased and attacked by six pit bulls Wednesday night.
The initial investigation revealed the dogs’ owner opened his door, allowing one of the dogs to escape. Police said when he tried to retrieve the dog, the other five pushed by him and went after 51-year-old Rochelle Silva, who was out walking her own dog, Ace.
“All six were on me,” she recalled. “If there were six of them, then all six were on me. All six of them were biting at me.”
According to police, the officer was conducting routine patrol on Broadway when he saw Silva running in the middle of the road. He then saw the pit bulls, which eventually caught up to her and began attacking her.
“They kept biting at me to get to Ace,” Silva said.
Police said the officer could not safely fire a shot at the pit bulls because they were on top of Silva so instead, he got back in his cruiser and activated the sirens and air horns to get the dogs’ attention.
The noise distracted the dogs, according to police, giving the officer an opportunity to escort Silva, with the help of a good Samaritan, to his cruiser.
Police said the owner of the dogs, a 36-year-old Taunton man, ran from his home and attempted to get the dogs under control. At this point, some of the dogs were attempting to jump through the driver’s side window of the cruiser, according to police.
The officer was able to roll up his window to avoid being bitten but the good Samaritan, a 53-year-old Raynham man, was bitten by one of the dogs during the incident.
Police said the dogs’ owner eventually managed to get them back inside his home.
Caitlin Hubacheck happened to be driving by when the attack occurred.
“It was pretty horrific, seeing the woman, she was screaming in agony holding herself, just hunched over screaming in agony,” Hubacheck said. “There’s just dogs everywhere and then the man was completely off by himself and he was getting bit.”
Hubacheck said she is a pit bull owner herself and admits this breed of dog needs to be properly trained to prevent situations like this.
“They are big strong dogs and they’re hard to take care of,” Hubacheck said.
Silva was transported to Rhode Island Hospital to be treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries. She is still in the hospital recovering.
The good Samaritan was able to drive himself to the hospital, where he received treatment for a dog bite to the leg.
Silva said Ace ended up dying from his injuries at a local animal hospital.
“He was such a good dog. You are not expecting him to go out that way,” Silva’s daughter Arianna said. “He was tortured before he went.”
According to police, all six dogs were seized by Taunton Animal Control and will be quarantined prior to a hearing with the owner. The incident remains under investigation.