Pit bull owner charged after Hampton attacks

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – A Hampton dog owner is facing charges after police say her two pit bulls viciously attacked five people Monday. WAVY.com has learned her dogs may have attacked before.

A police officer was among those bitten. That officer killed one of the dogs. Animal Control and other officers later secured the other K9, according to the Hampton Police Division.

The five victims were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The homeowner says she was not at home when the attack took place, and claims she had instructed family members not to let the dogs out of the house.

It all began at 10:52 a.m. when police responded to a 911 call coming from the 600 block of Bell Street. The preliminary investigation revealed that when the homeowner’s great-niece opened the door for the female mail carrier, the dogs ran out of the home and attacked the mail carrier. Angelique Hood, who is the homeowner’s niece, went out to help and was attacked as well.

Angelique Hood remains in the hospital with severe tendon injuries in her arm from the attack. The great-niece was seen walking down the street, but did not want to talk to WAVY.com. Her father said she has 20 puncture wounds in her arm and had to get a few stitches.

A police officer and an animal control officer who arrived on scene tried to contain one of the dogs for quarantine, but they too were bitten in the process.

All of the victims have injuries to their legs and arms.

Police asked everyone in the area to stay inside their homes, and Bassett Elementary School, which is adjacent to the homeowner’s backyard, was placed on lockdown until the second dog was secured, police and school officials confirmed.

The dogs’ owner, Eyvette Fitzgerald, is charged with two counts of canines at large while attacking, one count failure to obtain a dog license and one felony count of possession of a vicious canine.

Fitzgerald told WAVY.com what happened when she returned home: “Both the dogs were in the front yard, and I approached them, and grabbed both of them. There were four or five cops, and they had their guns drawn, and they told me to turn them loose or they would shoot me, so I let them go.”

Police insist they said no such thing to Fitzgerald. Instead, officers claim to have told her, “if you let go of the dogs then we will shoot them.” Fitzgerald let go of the dogs. One charged an officer. The dog was shot and killed.

Fitzgerald saw her one-year-old dog killed: “I saw it,” she said. “I was out there, she hollered so loud she made this loud sound that was so loud it went right through me.”

WAVY.com asked her why her dogs turned so violent.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. They usually aren’t like that,” she said. “I don’t know what happened … I did tell them not to let the dogs out.”

WAVY.com obtained a Hampton Police report from last August that states the two dogs attacked a pedestrian in front of the Fitzgerald home. Police say a 34-year-old man was walking down the street when he was attacked. He received minor injures, but did not press charges.

When 10 On Your Side asked Fitzgerald about any previous attacks this is what she said: “Well, somebody said Sassie did something to him, but he lied, so other than that, no.”

 

Bassett Elementary School was placed on lockdown until the dog was secured, according to police. Around 11:45 a.m., police said the dog was secured.

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