An officer with the Palm Bay Police Department suffered a dog bite that required stitches recently when he assisted an elderly woman who called police after the dog would not leave her garage. Officer Phil Erwin responded to a call at a house on Eatonia Street and found a 120-pound pit bull in the woman’s garage. The dog belonged to the woman’s neighbor, but she found that local Animal Control officials would not come to her home unless it was restrained, leading to the police call. When the officer arrived, the dog was not behaving aggressively, but it refused to leave the premises.
The officer tried to maneuver around the dog while its owner called the animal from the street. That is when the dog began to “act a little manic” according to eyewitnesses.
“All of the sudden, he stopped and looked at Officer Erwin,” she said.
Witnesses say that the dog then lunged at Officer Erwin from about five feet away and bit him on his left hand.
“He felt the dog was pulling him down,” the witness said. “He could feel the dog’s tooth driving into his thumb and forefinger, that little arch area in the hand.”
Officer Erwin had his weapon in his right hand and tried to get the dog into a position where he could get a safe shot at the animal while also trying to remove his left hand from the dog’s jaws. The dog released the officer’s hand but was still acting very aggressively when the owner got the animal under control and took it home. Eventually, he turned the dog over to animal control, where officials plan to check the animal’s vaccinations and hold it in quarantine.
Given the pit bull’s reputation for jaw strength and viciousness, Officer Erwin is very lucky to have only suffered a few puncture wounds in his hand. Many Floridians attacked by pit bulls and other aggressive breeds, especially children and elderly victims, are not as fortunate and suffer serious, disfiguring injuries in Florida dog attacks. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, you have a right to seek damages against the owner. To learn more about your rights and legal options, contact Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587). Mr. Cunningham is an Orlando dog bite attorney who has helped injured people since 1977. He has law offices located throughout Central Florida and can meet you for a free consultation at the one nearest you. For a complete list of his Florida personal injury law offices, check the bottom of this page.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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