A man was left in a critical condition after being mauled by two loose pit bulls in a neighborhood in Harris County, Texas, on Thursday.
Home surveillance camera footage broadcast by several local news outlets shows parts of the incident that occurred in the Northcliffe subdivision, which deputies described as “horrific.”
In one clip posted online by KTRK, the man, who was out for an early morning walk, can be seen backing away as the two dogs approach him.
The man, who has not been identified, eventually backs up against a vehicle as the dogs bark at and jump up on him. The footage shown by KTRK cuts out before the pit bulls begin mauling him.
Later on in the recording, neighbors can be seen rushing to the man’s aid. One individual, Darrell Barryman, used a long stick to try and scare the dogs away.
“I heard somebody saying, ‘Help, help, help.’ That’s when I said, ‘Something ain’t right,'” Berryman, told KPRC 2. “I ran over here and saw two pit bulls. The man couldn’t move. They had him by his face… I told my granddaughter to call 911.”
One of the other neighbors who came out to help the victim, armed with a handgun, was Elmer Levigne, a retired Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy. The incident occurred on Levigne’s front yard and his surveillance camera’s captured the attack.
Barryman and Levigne managed to get the dogs off the man, but the pit bulls started charging at the former deputy, leading him to shoot one of them through the shoulder.
“When I came out, the dogs turned around and went to attack us. I shot him through the shoulder and it didn’t even stop him,” Lavigne told KPRC 2.
Deputies from the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office and animal control personnel had also arrived at the scene by this point. One of the deputies also shot the other dog after it bit an animal control officer twice as they tried to detain it.
The attack left the original victim with injuries to his upper body, lower body, face and neck, and caused him to lose a significant amount of blood.
“It was pretty gruesome,” Daniel Garza with Precinct 4 told KPRC 2. “He did lose quite a bit of blood. That was the main concern. I’ve been doing this a long time and this type of attack is not something you see on a normal basis.”
Paramedics responded to the scene and the man was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition.
Zach Dunlap, the critical care manager for Cypress Creek EMS, said the quick actions of emergency responders saved the man’s life, administering two units of blood to him at the scene.
“I’ve had a lot of dog bites and maulings, but this is up there with some of the worst I’ve ever seen,” Dunlap told KPRC 2. “The amount of blood loss that he had, everything had to go perfect.”
“He received two units of blood which is very unique to receive that out of the hospital. We got his blood pressure up. We were able to intubate him,” Dunlap said on Thursday.
Dunalp said his team carried blood products with them, something that is not typical for paramedics. He also said the victim was lucky that there was a level 1 trauma center nearby at Memorial Hermann in Houston.
“Life flight was able to take him down to the medical center and he’s been in surgery throughout today… Had this happened in other parts of the country where he did not have blood or he did not have rapid access to a Level 1 trauma center, the outcome would have been probably worse.”
Both of the dogs are reportedly still alive despite having been shot. They are now being held by animal control officers and will be quarantined for 10 days, after which point officials will decide their fate.
Deputies took the owner of the dogs into custody for questioning and said charges are pending against him.
The owner, who did not want be to identified, told KTRK that he had been keeping the dogs in an enclosure but said a friend may have accidentally let them out before the attack.