Hamilton woman bit by pit bull talks about incident

Published: Thursday, August 07, 2014 @ 11:17 AM
Updated: Thursday, August 07, 2014 @ 4:30 PM

A pit bull dog attacked and bit a woman out for her daily walk Thursday in the 700 block of South 2nd Street, the Butler County assistant dog warden has confirmed.

Pamela Middlebrooks, 67, of Hamilton, was treated and released before noon Thursday from Fort Hamilton Hospital after being bitten twice in the thigh by the dog, according to Kurt Merbs, Butler County assistant dog warden supervisor.

Merbs said Middlebrooks walks in the neighborhood every day. She was walking along South 2nd Street near Chestnut and Walnut streets when the pit bull attacked her, even as she tried to step off the curb to avoid it, Merbs and witnesses told the Journal-News.

Content Continues Below

Merbs said the dog in question was a pit bull.

“Oh yes, there’s no doubt,” Merbs said of the breed of the dog.

Middlebrooks told the Journal-News after she returned home from the hospital that she had been walking down Second Street from High Street when she encountered a young man coming out of the house with the dog.

“No collar, no leash,” she said. “And I said, that’s a pit bull, but I didn’t get scared. I said, I guess I’ll just go around.”

She said the man scooped the dog into his arms as she stepped off the sidewalk to go into the street, but the dog got out from the man’s arms, ran up behind her, and bit her from behind.

“I screamed and tried to protect myself, and (the man) had to actually grab him, because he had a hold,” she said.

She described the dog as a tan, full-grown, male pit bull. After pulling the dog off of her, the man put the dog back in the house, and told her it was not his dog.

Middlebrooks is on antibiotics and pain medication while waiting to find out whether the dog has received its shots for rabies. She said she is unsure of how to proceed with the dog’s owners for insurance.

“I was so stunned, but I am so thankful that it wasn’t worse,” she said.

A man who lives on South 2nd Street and witnessed the attack told this newspaper that a young man was walking with the dog, which wasn’t on a leash, when they encountered Middlebrooks who was walking in the opposite direction. The witness, who asked not to be identified, said the woman tried to step off the curb to avoid the dog, but it attacked her anyway.

“She had blood running down both of her legs,” the man said.

After she was bitten, Middlebrooks walked to one of the benches at nearby Bailey Square and called 911 from her cell phone.

Terry Brown, who works at Singletary’s Carry Out at 733 S. 2nd St., said he saw Middlebrooks and went to aid her. Brown said he knew the woman because he sees her walk in the neighborhood just about every day.

“She had blood all over the inside of her legs. Blood was running down both thighs,” Brown said. “She told me she walked around the dog, but the dog broke loose and bit her anyway.”

Merbs said he is waiting for a referral from Hamilton police, who interviewed Middlebrooks at the hospital, before proceeding with charges against the dog’s owners or determining what will happen to the dog.

When Merbs arrived at the residence believed to belong to the dog’s owner at 724 S. 2nd St., a female pit bull was inside a cage in the backyard, he said. When Merbs knocked on the door, he said a small boy answered and asked, “Are my parents going to jail?”

The Journal-News also knocked on the door of the residence, but those inside said, “We don’t know anything. We were at the grocery store.”

Later, a woman who did not identify herself, came out of the house and said she didn’t live there, but she took the dog’s owner to the store and that’s where they were when the attack happened. She denied that the dog in the cage in the backyard was the one that bit Middlebrooks.

In a separate incident, also around 11 a.m., two assistant dog wardens and two Hamilton police officers were chasing a loose pit bull in the area of Twinbrook Drive. The pit bull they were pursuing had “ripped the ear off a black Labrador two weeks before and was running loose again,” Merbs said.

Officials were able to catch that pit bull, which is now secured at a local shelter, Merbs said.

A dog attack Monday in Madison Twp. marked the fourth serious dog mauling — and third fatality — to happen in southwest Ohio this year.

Cindy Whisman, 59, of 4743 Eck Road, was found dead by Butler County Sheriff’s deputies around 1:10 p.m. Monday, the victim of a vicious attack by the family’s pet. Whisman was in the back yard of her ranch-style home with her grandson when Polo, her daughter’s pit bull mix, attacked and bit her multiple times in the face, neck and body.

The Madison Twp. incident was the first fatal dog attack in Butler County since 1998, according to sheriff’s officials.

Staff Writer Lauren Pack contributed to this report.