Dog attack injures 93-year-old Connecticut woman - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Dog attack injures 93-year-old Connecticut woman

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BRANFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Emergency calls obtained by Eyewitness News describe a vicious attack by an escaped pit bull that mauled a 93-year-old woman in Branford. 

Police said several neighbors jumped in to try to save the woman by distracting the dog.

Rita Pepe was walking near the intersection of Harbor Street and McKinnel Court at about 2 p.m.

Police said somehow the dog, which is being described as mixed-breed pit bull, broke out of the house and went right for Pepe. The dog grabbed on to the woman's leg.

911 dispatcher: "Branford emergency, what's the address?"

Caller: "Hurry up. We need a cop really, really quick."

911 dispatcher: "Where?"

Caller: "There's a pit bull attacking a bunch of people here."

Police said the dog bit her several times so badly she needed surgery on her leg. Neighbors and people driving by ran over to help the woman.

Branford animal control has the dog quarantined Monday. They would not let Eyewitness News in to see the dog.

"They tried to distract the dog. They were hitting it with the victim's cane and baseball bat to fend off the dog," said Branford police Capt. Geoff Morgan. 

Eyewitness News talked to the family who owns the dog. The dog, which is named Booker, was rescued last September.

The family member said the dog is calm, smart and adorable. It's unclear how the dog got out of the house, but police don't anticipate any criminal charges.

"For us we have to take a look at whether there was any intent by the owner. Did they know this kind of incident could have unfolded?" Morgan asked.

Pepe is well known in Branford. The Pepe family has owned a gas station on Main Street for years. It's run now by the victim's son, who was at the hospital all day. 

"[She's] sweetest person in the world. It's a shame. It's really a shame this happened to her," said Larry Stoup, who is the victim's friend and the son's business partner. 

The state said officials in Branford will be the one to determine if the dog should be put down. No decision has been made. 

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