SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 10, 2009

Pit bull attacks four in Peabody

PEABODY — An out-of-control pit bull mauled two women inside a mobile home on Route 1 and attacked a police officer trying to save them yesterday.

The women and the officer were taken by ambulance to Salem Hospital with injuries.

One woman was airlifted to a Boston hospital, and the second woman was undergoing surgery at Salem Hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

A third woman, who residents say is the live-in girlfriend of the dog owner, was taken to the hospital with an injury to her back, according to neighbors.

The attack happened shortly before 5 p.m. at Mobile Estates at lot number 44. Neighbors said the victims were friends of the dog owner's girlfriend.

Kellyann Soye, 21, said she was pulling up her car at her friend's home across the street from where the attack took place when she saw the girlfriend outside screaming.

"She said, 'Help me! The dog's attacking my friends,'" Soye said.

Outside, there was blood everywhere. Neighbors called police.

Soye said she and her friends could only wait outside as they heard the women inside "screaming bloody murder."

Patrolman William Swaczyk was the first to arrive on the scene and found the dog pinning one woman to the floor, according to police Lt. John McCorry.

"He punched the dog a few times, and the dog turned on him," McCorry said of Swaczyk. The woman was able to get out of the home when the animal turned on Swaczyk.

"Once the dog latched on, he started punching him and doing anything he could to get the dog to release him," McCorry said.

At the same time, the third woman was found hiding inside a room and was helped out by Patrolmen Mark Bettencourt, Leo Cunha and Tony Santos. The officers broke a window to free the woman.

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