BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An elderly woman from Greektown is fighting for her life inside a hospital after a violent attack by her neighbor’s dog.

Derek Valcourt has new information on the condition of the victim.

Because of the victim’s age and the severity of her injuries, family members are worried about her recovery.

Inside Bayview Medical Center, Athena Neofitou, 78, remains in intensive care in a medically-induced coma after she was attacked and bitten by a pit bull named Blue while she was checking her mailbox.  It happened Friday night in the 700- block of Ponca Street, where the 1-year-old dog lives with Henrietta Rouzer and her family.

“I take full responsibility for what happened with this lady because usually my dog is in the house,” Rouzer said.

Rouzer said her children let the dog outside.  She disputes claims that her dog dragged the victim down some concrete steps but admits the dog did bite the elderly woman in the face.

The victim’s family members declined to speak on camera but say after a six-hour jaw reconstruction surgery, Neofitou is still in ICU.  She’s hooked up to a breathing machine in a medically-induced coma and she could be on a feeding tube for two to three months.

“I feel terrible, I really do,” Rouzer said.

Rouzer feels so bad, she’s even written an apology letter to the victim and her family, saying they are praying for her recovery.  They also had a copy translated into Greek.

“I love my dog, but for her, I would not contest [having the dog put to sleep] because if it was me, I know how she feels,” Rouzer said.  “So if she would want the dog put down to make her feel better and make her comfortable to come home in her house, in her neighborhood, I will do that.”

The dog’s owners have already been issued three citations from the city, totaling $550.  The victim’s family says they’ve already contacted an attorney.

So far this year, Baltimore City Animal Control has responded to 260 incidents of dogs biting people.

Comments (10)
  1. Jim L says:

    She is a good owner. Sad situation.

  2. theresa says:

    it is not the dog fault.
    it is the owns fault.
    for leaving the dog outside.
    she is still a puppy.
    let her life.because she is a pretty dog and she dont know better..
    the owns needs to go to jail.
    let the dog go because she dont know better and how would she take a women down the stairs she cant do that because she is still a puppy.

  3. Michael says:

    stop embarrasing yourself, your grammar shows a complete lack of education
    kill the dog, arrest the owner end of story

    1. anita says:

      so true! I couldnt have said it better!

  4. Tracy says:

    We have a 13 year old pit that’s never attacked anyone. We don’t need to worry about our dog being outside alone. That’s the part I’m curious about. I don’t believe it’s not the dogs fault and just the owners. Dogs can be inherently aggressive. I love dogs, but there are some dogs that are just plain aggressive since they were bred to be that way. At least she’s doing to right thing and euthanizing it.

  5. Kimberly Blackwell says:

    \i agree w/micheal shoot the dog lock the owners up heck charge them w/attempted murder w/a deadly weapon cause them stupid dogs are deadly

  6. Mad!!! says:

    I would like start by saying this is my Cousins dog and this whole story is BS!!!! If the dog had been in attack mode they wouldn’t have gotten the dog off her. Pit Bulls have lock Jaw and they would have had to shoot the dog to get him off. This was a accidental thing and the dog reacted due to the fact that the lady was punching the dog repeatedly so he wouldn’t LICK her!!!! Of coarse the dog eventually bit her. This was a good dog and You ppl are how Pit Bulls get bad names. Ppl should know the facts before they speculate. Her dog was well kept and a friendly dog. Not chained up as ppl have tried to say.

  7. jimdom says:

    Mad!!! You don’t know what you’re talking about. How do you know what was in the dog’s head. The dog came running towards this poor older lady. How do you expect her to re-act. If this is how pit bulls behave whenpeople don’t want to be licked and this is not considered an attack mode, then what the hell are we saying here? An animal should not be considered a pet if it only behaves safely under perfect conditions because no one is perfect.

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