What to Know
- People in one Queens neighborhood say they've been terrorized by repeat dog attacks
- They say animal control released a pit bull despite knowing it had attacked and killed another dog a month prior -- and it happened again
- Jerry Torres said three pit bulls -- one of them the same one from the April attack -- attacked his small dog and bit him when he stepped in
People living in a Queens neighborhood say they want to know why animal control released a pit bull knowing that it had attacked and killed another dog just a month earlier.
A 72-year-old owner of the killed Maltese, who did not want to be named, said she was walking her dog named Bobby in April when two unleashed pit bulls ran from a nearby home. The owner said in Spanish that the pit bull attacked her first, which forced her to let go of Bobby.
"They were eating him. They even had pieces of the dog in their mouths," she said through her daughter.
Cellphone video shows the horrifying scene play out in Corona as the owner sought safety in a nearby yard off camera. The woman who lives in the Alstyne Avenue house where the dogs lived is seen trying to separate the dogs, then turning on a neighbor who tried to stop the pit bulls.
"One of the gentlemen out here had a bat and was going to try to hit him, and the girl said 'No, if you hit him, I'm going to kill you, you don't touch my dog,'" a neighbor said.
Then on Memorial Day, a similar scene played out just a block away. Jerry Torres said three pit bulls -- one of them the same one from the April attack -- attacked his small dog and then bit him when he tried to intervene.
Torres said he reported it to Animal Care Center, and the agency told him "there was an incident prior to that and that same dog was involved in that."
The victims say one or more of the dogs were taken by animal control, but the dogs were allowed back in their neighborhood after Bobby the Maltese was killed. The lawyer for Bobby's owner says the dogs were vicious long before.
"I have witness statements from people in the neighborhood who have killed and complained before about these specific pit bulls," said the attorney.
No one answered at the Queens home where News 4 tried to safely contact the people living at the dog's house. Calls to Animal Care were not returned.
Janet Noboa, who lives next door to the dogs, said despite a new taller fence, the home's gate is sometimes left open. She's worried her small grandchildren could be next.
"I don't let them come out anymore," she said. "When the babysitter is here, I tell them not to come out."