Taunton woman attacked by six pit bulls
TAUNTON, Mass. (WLNE) – Police are investigating after a Taunton woman was attacked by six pit bulls while walking her dog Wednesday evening.
"I could feel the chunks coming out of my body," said the victim, Rochelle Silva. "I thought I was going to die."
Her daughter says she almost did.
"If it was anywhere else, like in her neck, or anywhere on her upper body, she probably would have died," Arianna Silva said.
The police report says the officer was unable to safely discharge his firearm without potentially injuring the woman, and that returned to his cruiser and activated the vehicle’s siren and air horn in an attempt to distract the dogs.
The report says the sirens distracted the animals long enough for the woman to get to her feet. The Taunton officer and a bystander were able to escort the woman into the police cruiser.
The owner of the dogs came out of his home soon after, attempting to get the dogs under control. At this time, some of the dogs attempted to leap through the window of the cruiser and attack the officer.
But the Silvas say the officer could have done more.
"You have a whole waistband full of weapons," Arianna said. "You could've shot the dogs individually, you could have tased them, you could've done anything other than just get back in your car and lock the doors."
"I don't want him to be working as a police officer who's supposed to protect and serve,' Rochelle said. "I want him fired."
The owner of the dogs managed to get them under control and return them to his home. The animals were later seized by Animal Control and will be quarantined ahead of a hearing with the owner.
Stefanie Murphy, a neighbor and pit bull owner herself, says the man who owns the six pitbulls has some responsibility.
"I'm sorry, the owner should have been able to stop them," Murphy said. "If not, then obviously you shouldn't own six pit bulls. I have my one and she's a handful. But having six? No way."
Rochelle Silva was transported by ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. She says she's dealing with 100 stitches, skin grafts, and potentially weeks of rehabilitation.
Arianna's puppy didn't survive the ordeal, but she says she's thankful to have her mother.
"I could've almost lost my mom, and I lost a big part of me. Just imagining what your puppy went through, all that trauma, as well as your mom. It's just really heartbreaking."
The bystander was also bitten, transporting himself to an area hospital with a leg injury.
Police said that their investigation shows that one of the dogs escaped when the owner opened the door briefly. When the owner attempted to retrieve the dog, the others pushed their way out the door and attacked the victim.
The incident is under investigation.
©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019