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Elderly Woman Hospitalized After Pit Bull Attack

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GREEKTOWN pit bull attack
Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—An elderly woman mauled by a dog on her front porch. The elderly victim is hospitalized and Animal Control has seized the dog from its owner.

Alex DeMetrick has the details on the conflicting stories from neighbors and the dog’s owner.

That pit bull is under observation while a woman believed to be in her 80s struggles to recover from the attack.  A woman neighbors say is named Athena Neofitou has lived for decades in a rowhouse on Ponca Street.

Now her blood stains the front walk.

Some neighborhood accounts have her getting mail on her front porch Friday evening when the dog attacked.

“She’s an elderly woman and when she came out to get her mail, a dog across the street, a pit bull is what we heard, ran across the street and bit her,” said Sam Kosmas, neighbor.

“We take full responsibility because it was our dog,” said Henriett Rouzer, the dog owner.

Rouzer owns the 1-year-old pit bull named Blue. She says she normally keeps it chained up inside the house, but her children let it loose to play with it. When they ran outside, the dog followed.

Rouzer says the dog encountered the elderly woman on the front walk.

“The lady must have thought he was running after her,” Rouzer said. “So she started screaming and he jumped on her and started licking her, because he thought she wanted to play.  She started smacking him.  I would too, if a dog jumped on me, and I would have been trying to defend myself.  But she was smacking him. He bit her.”

The woman was rushed to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital.

Rouzer says she tried to stop the woman’s bleeding until the ambulance arrived.

The extent of her injuries is unknown, although in the Greektown neighborhood, there is worry they are severe.

“One of the neighbors that I spoke to that’s only fluent in Greek said she couldn’t sleep last night because the image was so vivid in her head,” said Marianna Lerakis, neighbor.

“Me and my family, we been up all night long,” Rouzer said. “We want to know how the lady is doing.”

“She’s a very nice woman and she didn’t deserve this,” Kosmas said.

A hearing by Animal Control will likely determine the dog’s fate.

WJZ is still waiting for more information from police and Animal Control about the woman’s condition.

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