Police arrested a Bronx woman for letting her two pit bull dogs off their leash and ordering them to attack a man with whom she claimed she was arguing, causing him severe injuries and leaving him in a pool of his own blood.
Police claim that Cynthia Oliver, 55, was arguing with Francesco Bove, 62, outside her apartment when she let her dogs of their leash and ordered them to attack.
Video of the gruesome incident, taken by a resident in an apartment above the scene of the attack, revealed that the bloody assault lasted up to two minutes.
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The video shows the dogs menacingly circling the man who tried to hold them off initially. But soon he was felled, as the dogs ripped into him, leaving bloody tears in his arms, legs, and chest. The video also shows that Bove quickly ended up lying in the street in a pool of his own blood.
At one point in the attack, a 46-year-old bystander named Emilio Ortiz tried to pull the dogs off the struggling man but to no avail. In fact, the dogs knocked Ortiz to the ground as well.
Other neighbors also tried to help the man but were also unable to get the dogs to stop their attack.
The dogs didn’t relent from the attack until firefighters showed up with fire hoses to dissuade the attacking animals.
The attack was so vicious and the blood so copious that the priest of a local church was preparing to give Bove his last rites because it seemed he was about to die. Bove even told the priest, “I think I’m going to die.”
Bove said that, at first, he thought the dogs were friendly. “They came to me, and I thought they were friendly but they jumped on me and I felt the bite,” Bove said. “I started to kick them off. I lost a big chunk of my arm. I could see it. I could see the bone.”
NYPD spokeswoman, Det. Annette Markowski related the woman’s side of the story, saying that the two were arguing before the dogs attacked. But the victim of the attack disputed the claim that he had engaged in any argument with Oliver. He told police that he was just walking by when the dogs attacked.
The victim told police that he thinks the dogs were “trained to fight.”
Mr. Bove was left with a nearly severed ear, “two big chunks missing” from both of his arms, multiple slices to his legs and chest, and potential nerve damage.
The victim also may have nerve damage to his hands, an injury that his son says will destroy his livelihood. Bove is an artist who does high-end restoration.
“If he couldn’t move his hands I don’t know how he would take that psychologically,” Bove’s son said.
Neighbors reported that the woman’s pit bulls have a history of biting people, and the dogs have now been remanded to animal control.
Oliver, who has a long history of drug arrests, was arrested on eight counts of assault and two counts of reckless endangerment and was still in jail on $35,000 bail by Saturday.
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