An 11-year-old girl is recovering in the hospital after being attacked by two dogs in Yonkers while walking to the bus stop on Thursday, authorities said.
It's not clear what prompted the two large Bullsmastiff-type dogs to pounce on the girl, Jaelyn Rodriguez, on Yonkers Avenue, but bystanders tried to fend off the dogs by throwing things at it, including a trash bin lid, and to distract them, the girl's mother told News 4.
The dogs "totally just attacked her, knocked her to the floor and bit her," said the girl's mother, Teeresa Rolon, still shaken and in tears as she spoke outside the hospital later. "She's bit everywhere from the neck to the feet. She's just in a lot of pain.
"They had her foot, they were trying to grab her arm, they were just biting, and she's looking at me 'cause I'm right here, and I'm like, 'Oh, my God, poor baby,'" said witness Marilyn Garcia.
"Cars pulled over and started throwing bottles, whatever they could find. That dog would not let her go. She was screaming for dear life, 'Help me, help me,' and I'm just sitting there like, I don't know what to do," she said. "The seven bus came, and people were hopping from the bus."
Finally, a good Samaritan swooped in and pulled the girl away and drove her to a local hospital.
The girl is in stable condition. Her mother said she wanted to thank the man who brought Jaelyn to safety.
"If it wasn't for him, she would be dead. She would be dead," said Rolon.
Jaelyn was no longer at the scene when police headed there after getting a report of the attack.
The dogs were there, though, and police say they appeared aggressive and were unleashed with no owner present. Authorities tried to control the animals with health sticks and darts, but when that didn't work, they were euthanized.
Rolon said her daughter is traumatized.
"For someone who loves animals, she doesn't even want to see another dog," she said. "She's afraid they're going to come back, but I told her they're not here anymore, that they were put down."
Police are actively investigating the incident. The dogs' owner has been located and is in contact with police. Top local law enforcement also stopped by the hospital to check on the girl's welfare.