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