Jonathan Hill was driving past the intersection of 89th Street and 89th Avenue in Woodhaven on his way to work around 10 a.m. on a typical Thursday morning, when he looked out the window and saw a horrific scene.
Two large dogs were tearing the coat off an older woman on the sidewalk.
“He ran in to help her,” his father Mark Hill said. “It was just him and an older man.”
His son told him that he used equipment in the truck, including a shovel, to help get the dogs off the woman.
“He hit one of the dogs in the head with the shovel,” Mark Hill explained
Eventually, police arrived and witnesses say one of the dogs was shot with rubber bullets, but not killed. Hill’s father said his son wasn’t sure what had happened to the other dog. The police then took the woman to a local hospital. Hill said the woman was badly injured, but that could not be confirmed
Donna Marie Caltabiano, executive director of the Forest Park Senior Center, said a senior who frequents the center whom she identified as Casey, helped the woman.
“He had to go home and change his clothes; they were covered with the woman’s blood,” Caltabiano said.
Casey told Caltabiano that the woman was being followed by the dogs before they attacked her.
The breed of the dogs is unknown, though they have been described as either Mastiffs, pit bulls or perhaps a mix of the two. Also unknown is the identity of their owners. Caltabiano said the dogs were later taken away by either Animal Control or the ASPCA.
Later in the day, signs of the dog attack could still be seen at the intersection. There was blood on the concrete and the victim’s bloody clothes were tossed in a trash can.
The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment on the incident, but one neighbor, who asked to speak anonymously, said she had never seen the dogs before and could not be certain who their owner is.
Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, also said the dogs were unknown to him, and he expressed concern about where the attack occurred — in the middle of the heavily residential area where people often walk.
“It’s scary,” he said, noting how close the attack occurred to PS 60, where students were in class at the time of the incident.