NEW YORK (AP) — An elderly New York City woman was killed and her 39-year-old autistic son injured when they were attacked by a dog she had recently adopted and planned to return to the shelter.
Louise Hermida, 75, and her son were attacked early Monday at their home in Queens, police said. Hermida had trauma to her body and was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The son was treated for leg trauma.
Neighbors said the woman had planned to take the dog, a mastiff, to a shelter on Monday because of its aggressive tendencies.
Neighbor John Brien told WABC-TV that the same dog attacked another neighbor's small terrier while being walked on a leash 10 days ago.
"He just pounced on it and started chewing it like a rag doll," Brien said. "It started ripping it to bits. We tried to jump in. The owner of the white dog got bit on the hand."
Another neighbor, Rosa Ortiz, said the attack led Hermida to want to get rid of the dog. She said Hermida had owned the dog for about four years and owned several other dogs as well.
She described the scene of Monday's attack as horrifying.
"When I saw her there, it broke my heart," Ortiz said. "She was all bloodied. Her head, her arms. It was really bad. It was a tragedy."
The dog is now in the custody of Animal Care and Control of New York City.
An ACC spokeswoman said the dog was adopted from Animal Care Centers almost six years ago and was about a year old at the time.
Information from: WABC-AM, http://www.wabcradio.com