Owner cited after pit bulls attack lakefront jogger

A 62-year-old Chicago man was critically injured Monday morning when two 70-pound pit bull terriers mauled him while he was jogging along Lake Michigan, police said.

January 3, 2012 7:51:07 PM PST
The brother of a jogger attacked by two pit bulls is talking about what happened.

Sixty-one-year-old Joseph Finley is hospitalized in critical but stable condition following the attack Monday at Rainbow Beach Park along the lakefront.

"One of the doctors on staff said it's probably the worst attacks that he has ever seen, as far as injury-wise," said Gregory Finley, Joseph's brother.

On Monday morning, Joseph Finley left his apartment for a early morning jog. What he didn't realize was that somehow two dogs were loose nearby.

Finley was rescued by a neighbor who tried to beat the dogs back, hitting them with a baseball bat while they continued to maul Finley.

When police officers arrived on the scene, they shot and killed the dogs.

"These two dogs almost killed my brother," said Gregory Finley. "If it wasn't for the bravery of Stanley Lee, who came out of his apartment after hearing my brother's cries for help and tried to beat the dogs off of him."

A MAN WHO LIVES NEARBY HEARD FINLEY'S CRIES FOR HELP AND TRIED TO INTERVENE. HE HIT THE DOGS WITH A BASEBALL BAT BUT THEY CONTINUED MAULING FINLEY. Police say Jimmy Johnson, who lives near Finley's apartment, was issued tickets for not restraining the dogs and for not having city dog licenses. The tickets carry a fine of $2,000.

Neighbors say they never saw the dogs outside their property but say the dogs seemed aggressive.

"I thought they were not that vicious...I stuck my hand in the gate and he bit me a little bit," said Valentino Jackson. "If I stuck my hand any farther, he probably would have taken my hand off."

"The dog would always be violent and run up to the gate and bark at you and stuff," said Frank McGriff.

"We cannot have these fierce dogs out here running around attacking people at will because of the irresponsibility of these particular pet owners," said Gregory Finley.

ABC 7 was unable to contact Johnson, the man police say owned the dogs.

Finley is said to have bites all over his body, with the most serious on the lower part of his body. He is expected to be hospitalized for at least a few more days.