Police update Hoboken pit bull attack
Feb 05, 2010 | 12352 views | 8 8 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend | print

HOBOKEN -- Police shot and killed a violent pit bull around midnight last night after it harmed three victims, including its owner, police said in a statement Friday.

The incident happened at a luxury building in uptown Hoboken after the first victim, a 42-year-old male resident, called police and alleged that he was bitten by a roommate’s pit bull named “Giant."

When police arrived, the victim was being treated outside the building by emergency medical technicians for severe bites to his right ankle. The victim told police he had been bitten by the same pit bull last week.

Police saw a another pit bull unleashed in the lobby of the building, they said. Moments later, “Giant” also appeared in the lobby with blood on its face and body, police said.

Police attempted to secure the lobby, which was made difficult due to two motion-sensor doors. At one point both dogs activated the doors, police said, but then fled back into the lobby and then back into the apartment.

The dog's owner, a 26-year-old female Hoboken resident, appeared near the lobby, but despite repeated warnings by police not to enter the lobby or apartment, the female owner entered her apartment. She was then bitten and mauled repeatedly in her lower extremities by “Giant,” causing massive trauma and blood loss, police said.

Hoboken Police, assisted by the Port Authority Police Emergency Service Unit, then entered the apartment by a window to rescue the female victim. She was carried out the window into an awaiting ambulance, where she was rushed to the Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) for treatment.

Police managed to barricade and beat off the violent pit bull and barricade it with furniture in the apartment. While the dog was partly secured by police, a third victim, a 41-year-old female Hoboken resident, attempted to enter the apartment after being repeatedly warned not to enter by police who were inside the apartment securing the pit bull.

The female victim screamed, and the pit bull became loose and immediately mauled her, causing serious bodily injury to her legs.

Police again beat the pit bull off of the victim. The third victim was also rushed to JCMC, requiring emergency surgery for her injuries.

Based on the totality of the circumstances and the immediate danger to officers and the public, Sgt. Edmund Drishti drew his weapon and shot and killed the pit bull with a single bullet to the head, police said.

The Humane Society of Newark, N.J., removed the dog. The second pit bull, which apparently did not injure or bite anyone, was snared and tranquilized by the Port Authority Police. This dog later expired and the owner is unknown at this point, according to the Humane Society.

The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office was notified, standard protocol when a law enforcement officer discharges his weapon, but no criminal charges are expected.

The Hoboken Board of Health was also notified about the incident and will conduct a separate investigation to determine if any health ordinances were violated by the dog’s owner, including proper registration of the dog.

Neither dogs wore Hoboken dog tags, only dog collars, police said.

The female owner told police that “Giant” had bitten another dog in a Hoboken dog park several weeks ago.

Police Chief Anthony Falco commended Drishti and all of the officers. “There was no other alternative available but to terminate this violent pit bull,” he said. -- TJC

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February 26, 2010
I hope I never have to meet Paulis in person; I'm not sure I could bear to be in the presence of such idiocy. Seriously. Yes, SOME individual dogs - typically those who are not appropriately trained and socialized - DO have problems. Paulis seems to think that if Pits were eliminated, there would not be any more dog problems. WRONG. Every breed of dog has at least one or more members that has bitten a human. Even a little POMERANIAN killed a human - a six week old infant. Every dog needs to be looked at individually. A few weeks ago, a friend's GOLDEN RETRIEVER growled at my grand-daughter for no cause, other than that particular golden doesn't trust kids. My granddaughter is pretty dog savvy for a kid her age, and she had the dog eating out of the palm of her hand - literally - an hour later. I volunteer at a shelter; I foster dogs; and I have two dogs. One is a pit, who earned the AKC Good Canine Certificate last year. The other is a Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix that I'm rehabbing - because he can be aggressive. His former owner had him removed from her home because he bit her. I've watched my pit be bowled over by big dogs at the dog park, and she thought it was great fun. I've watched little dogs come bark at her because they are afraid of her, and I've watched her literally lay down flat on her side in as submissive as possible, so that the same little yappy dog could climb on her, jump up and down and bark in her face, while she just let them get it out of their system. She was later attacked by a BOXER, and now my pit is AFRAID of other dogs! The issue isn't that Pits are all vicious, as some idiots seem to think, but that people forget that they need to provide leadership, regardless of the dog breed. I've watched a group of small kids (ages 5-6 or so) literally surround and swarm over my pit, just because she looks so inviting - they'd never seen her before. She was in her glory, giving kisses to every child, and they had a ball. One of the moms even bent down to get a kiss. Towards the end, one mom asked what kind of dog she is, and yeah, when I said Pit Bull, she was definitely taken aback. To her credit, she did not grab her kid and run for the hills. She looked at the media-described-vicious-dog, who was licking her daughter's face, while her daughter's arms where firmly wrapped around my dog's neck, listening to her daughter's giggles and seeing my dog's tail wag. She finally said "I didn't know they could be so nice - and I've never actually ever seen one". Pits are like any other dog - they need training and guidance. The first dog ever decorated by the military for service in war-time was a PIT BULL. Why? They are loyal, intelligent, and want to please. Why do they get such a bum rap? Because if they aren't trained, or are trained badly, they do have rather large jaws. BTW - my pit has NEVER purposely even snapped at me. The little Jack Russell-Chihuahua bit me a half a dozen times the first few weeks. Now he's much better - but still needs to be worked on. It's TRAINING that makes the difference.
February 11, 2010
Jillian_C doesn't even look up articles, she looks up one article. And Paulis doesn't even do that, he just goes by what the media tells him. Something someone with a brain wouldn't do on any subject. If people Jillian_C and Paulis were around when they filmed the "Little Rascals" there would have been no Petey! Actually none of the Peteys since there were several. And look at all the therapy dogs that wouldn't exist.

I've known numerous pits and other breeds, some of them my own. And the pits win hands down on affection towards humans. My current pit, though sometimes not the best towards other dogs (if they show aggression first) has a Wheaton as a best friend, they play often. And she treats my sisters lab like he's her long lost puppy. And alway big time affection for people. Any people.

Jillian_C, since you like looking things up, look up the American Society for Temperment testing and see how pits compare to other dogs. You might be surprised if your mind is open enough to accept what you see.
February 06, 2010
@ Jillian_C : Please yourself. Are you a vet or behaviorist? Or just quickly using Google to pull up quotes to substantiate your opinion? I love APBT's because I think they are beautiful animals, their energy, intelligence, & huge capacity for affection and loyalty. For me, there is no substitute.

I am part of a larger community of responsible APBT owners and have been for years. Take a look at many (but not all) of the Michael Vick dog victims. Despite the torture, they are more than willing to love, trust, and accept people.

My dog is actually used by our walker as a control for other members of the pack, because of her even keel and calm energy. In 7 years she's never even growled or curled a lip at a human OR a dog.


@Paulis. It's the owner. It's always the owner. If APBT's are eliminated, any other strong /high drive dog will become the demon du jour. Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Malinois, Mastiffs, Akitas are JUST as capable of hurting a person as an APBT is.

Targeting puppy mills, education, illegal breeding, and harsher sentences for cruelty could solve these problems and make things safer for people and all species of pet.

February 06, 2010
I have argued for the elimination of pit bulls for some time. People always counter as dbove does that it is the fault of humans not the beast. That may be true. Nevertheless today we are left with an unpredictable breed that is dangerous. We have all read of pit bulls that have attacked people, children or other animals. In the aftermath its not unusual to hear the owner proclaim that prior to this incident the dog was a lovable household pet.

February 06, 2010
There is clearly several different opinions on owning a pit bull. I have a Pit/Mastiff mix that I rescued. Pit Bulls are not aggressive by nature and are trained by HUMANS to be that way. Aggressive behavior is not breed specific! My dog was bitten by a Shiba Inu and did not attack or bite back. Pits are very smart and strong willed dogs. It sounds like Giant's owner should not have had a Pit and was irresponsible. If she knew her dog was aggressive she should not have let it wander freely around people and other dogs. Maybe she should have opted for a poodle?
February 06, 2010
Please. Owning a pit bull doesn't make you an expert on pit bulls any more than owning a car makes you a master mechanic. Alexandra Semyonova, an animal behaviorist with advanced degrees in her field and decades of experience has this to say about these fighting breeds and the people who lie, deny, and justify in the name of profiting from their breeding and fight regulation tooth and nail so they can continue to do the same.


You can try to whitewash it all you want. Pits were bred with a high prey drive and high levels of aggression. It is a myth that dogs with human aggressive traits were culled. If they made money, they lived and bred. It didn't matter who they hurt. You have only to look at how aggressive and difficult thoroughbreds are to see the logic behind undesirable traits being accepted in an animal if there's money to be made from it. Pit bull fighting is not a thing of the past. It's alive and well, and literally hundreds of thousands of dollars are made on it worldwide.

The pits most likely to be culled by breeders and dog fighters are puppies who aren't aggressive *enough*. Instead of just killing these unstable animals, now they get sold and marketed as pets. It's sickening. On average in the past three years, a human has been killed every 22 days by a pit bull or pit bull mix. Products with far less of a safety issue have been recalled as defective. It's time to regulate these defective breeds, too, before more people die.
February 05, 2010
You clearly have no experience. I've owned two very well socialized APBT's over the last 14 years. The breed of the dog has zero to do with it.

This has more to do with the owner than anything, and I'll bet just because it was an "upscale" building- doesn't mean that there wasn't something very wrong going on.

Pit Bulls were bred in years past to fight other dogs, a sad truth. This means that they can have a higher incidence of dog aggression, it ALSO means they had to be able to be handled "in the pit." Just because a dog bites another dog has zero implication on behavior to humans. Zero.

Try watching a few episodes of the Dog Whisperer you will understand that human behavior is behind most of these incidents.

February 05, 2010
I do not understand why people choose to own pit bulls. This breed has proven time and again that it should not be in close contact with humans or other animals. You cannot predict when they will go off. I would not object to a law that outlawed their possession. Get a german shepard, a poodle or some other pet. No need to endanger the public with their presence.