Trio of pit bulls maul children, four adults
November 7, 2005 (WLS) -- Three pit bulls attacked two children as they were going to door-to-door for a fund-raiser Saturday. The children remain hospitalized Monday morning; one is in critical condition at Lutheran General in Park Ridge.
Nick Foley was helping his friend Jordan Lamarre raise money for a Girl Scout fundraiser. As they passed one of their neighbors' homes, three pit bulls escaped through a door that was left ajar. The dogs attacked the children and four other people, including their owner.
Gerde Gerdes, 42, was in his garage Saturday afternoon when he and another neighbor heard people screaming up the street.
"All of sudden Jim says people getting attacked by a dog so we ran down," said Gerdes. "I got some lacerations on wrists and a bunch of puncture wounds on my hands."
It wasn't just one dog. It was three pit bulls that were attacking Foley and his Lammare. The dogs' owner Scott Sword tried stopping the attack, but his own dogs then turned on him.
"I turned around and saw Scott lying on top of Nick in the yard across the street. I said, 'Scott, what the heck is going on here? The next thing I know they were climbing on my jeans and going at me," said Gerdes.
The rampage continued. Two more people were attacked, including Nick Foley's father.
By the time police arrived, the pit bulls turned on sheriff's deputies until Matt Hanus drove up in his pick-up truck. The vehicle shielded the officers from the dogs.
"I saw the dogs mauling people in yard. The officers actually got in the back of my truck and shot them from the back of the pickup truck," said Hanus.
Scott Sword's pit bulls were well known in his Cary neighborhood. Some residents say it was only a matter of time before the dogs would severely hurt someone.
"My daughter and I were really very scared of the pit bulls," said Maureen Gerdes, victim's wife.
But Maureen Gerdes' husband, who was attacked, and other neighbors are defending the dogs and their owner.
"I didn't think they'd turn on me. It surprised the hell out of me," said Sword.
"We feel for Scott because we know what kind of character he has and how he cares about everybody," said Mark Guerra, dog owner's friend.
Other neighbors say they have seen the dogs unleashed several times. Saturday's attack is the first reported to police.
So far, the dogs' owner, Scott Sword, has not been charged with anything. Meantime, Jordan Lamarre remains at Lutheran General in stable condition.
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