WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — An elderly D.C. man was attacked by two Italian Mastiff dogs Tuesday morning as he walked to work.
Authorities say 74-year-old Sawney Brown Bell was walking in the 400 block of 36 Street, NE when the loose dogs attacked him.
Bell suffered a broken arm as well as bite to his face, head, arms and legs in the attack. He was taken to the hospital with serious and life-threatening injuries.
“I walked up just to see how bad he was,” said Linda Gray who was nearby during the attack. “I screamed out and turned my head.”
Gray said the Bell was mauled in the middle of the street.
Another bystander said one dog was biting the victim on the leg while the other was attacking the upper portions of his body. He described the scene as dogs playing tug-of-war with the man’s limbs.
The Mastiffs have an alleged history of violent encounters with humans. A person who lives near the incident told 9News Now that the same dogs attacked a homeless man just three months earlier.
Authorities believe the dogs belonged to Towing Pros, a local towing company, and escaped through a hole in the fence or side alley. A neighbor chased the dogs away with a shovel, but the damage had already been done at that point.
Animal Control was able to locate and capture the dogs who are now undergoing evaluation.
The towing company owners have been cited for having unleashed dogs. Metropolitan Police and Animal Control are looking into whether the owners are negligent in the attack.