Woman attacked by pack of pit bulls

April 11, 2008 4:34:37 PM PDT
A woman was attacked by five pit pulls as she walked along a South Side Chicago street. The owner of the pit bulls, 32-year-old Christian Hidalgo of Chicago, received four citations for each of the five dogs. Mirabelli says the citations were for failure to maintain a dangerous animal, failure to maintain the animal under restraint, no license and no required rabies vaccination.

There are so many bites and so many stitches that Gabriela Munoz says she has lost count. The 32-year old pharmacy worker -- a single mom with four kids -- is thankful to be alive. And she is determined that her children not see her as anything but a strong and protective mother.

"I don't want them to get scared," she said.

Munoz won't let her children visit her in Advocate Christ Medical Center and see her in her condition, the victim of a swarming by five pit bull dogs, four puppies and their mother, who escaped from their back yard and launched themselves on her as she walked to pick up her 12- and 10-year olds from the school a half block away.

And I saw one dog come out and the rest of them, so I tried crossing the street, and they started biting the end of my coat. And then they knocked me down, so I threw my umbrella at them, started attacking me, tore the umbrella," Munoz said.

The dogs' owner tried to get them off her but they kept biting and leaping. Eventually, a Good Samaritan in a van jumped the curb and screamed at her to get in.

"I had my hands kind of like this, so they didn't get to my face or neck," she said. "He is telling me, 'Get in, get in,' and the owner is trying to get them off me, um, I don't know how it happened. The guy opened his car door and I jumped in."

While her upper body looks bad, the worst of the damage was to Munoz' legs. She may have to undergo reconstructive surgery, especially on her right leg. But she is not angry with Hidalgo, who Friday afternoon met with Chicago Animal Control officials who will remain in the neighborhood until one last dog is found from the attack. It is still on the loose.

"I mean, the owner, Mr. Hidalgo, he took care of the dogs, he had them for some time and they turnaround, and I don't know, they maul," said Tony Delrio, Chicago Animal Control.

"It is more than I am happy to be here, that I am around for my kids," sad Munoz.

Chicago Animal Control is imploring anyone who finds the missing pit bull, which is likely still in the Marquette Park area, to call them because they think it will attack again.

The pit bulls will probably be euthanized.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Load Comments