Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Neighbor with broom helps fend off dogs attacking 84-year-old in Zephyrhills

Outside his Zephyrhills home Sunday, John Ashmore was mauled by dogs, which deputies shot.

Images courtesy of Bay News 9

Outside his Zephyrhills home Sunday, John Ashmore was mauled by dogs, which deputies shot.

ZEPHYRHILLS — An 84-year-old man walking outside his house Sunday morning was mauled and critically injured by two dogs that got loose from down the street, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.

John Ashmore, who lives on Chancey Road, was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Medical Center after the 7:50 a.m. attack.

He was in surgery much of Sunday afternoon and was expected to remain in intensive care overnight, said Linda Ashmore, his daughter-in-law.

The dogs were shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy.

When Ernest Naylor, 43, stepped out of his house Sunday morning, he certainly didn't expect to see his longtime neighbor and friend being viciously attacked.

But across the street from his house, he saw Ashmore on the ground with two dogs on top.

Ashmore's shoes and a walker he used were feet away. It looked like he was dragged, Naylor said.

"I bolted out the door. I didn't think. I didn't holler," he said.

Ashmore's daughter brought a broom to try to fend off the dogs. She took a swing. Then Naylor took the broom and landed a hit.

The dogs backed off.

Ashmore was bleeding badly.

Naylor and Ashmore's daughter tried to help. He used a towel to try to stop the blood flowing from Ashmore's ankles. There were bite marks on his left biceps.

Ashmore's head rested in Naylor's lap as he tried to stop the bleeding.

"I did what I could do," he said.

The two dogs stood just feet away at the end of the driveway.

Described by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office as a pit bull mix and a boxer mix, they had gotten loose from their owner's yard.

Ashmore's family members called for help.

When authorities arrived at the scene, the dogs turned to attack, the Sheriff's Office said. A deputy shot and killed the dogs. The deputy, whose name was not released, was not injured.

Ashmore was in critical but stable condition Sunday evening, a Lakeland Regional official said.

"The guy didn't deserve what he got," Naylor said.

The Sheriff's Office did not release the name of the dogs' owner or announce any charges.

A neighbor identified a house on the street bearing a "beware of dog" sign as the home from which the dogs came. A woman in the back yard there declined to talk to a reporter.

An official report that includes the owner's name is expected to be released today.

Naylor said he has known Ashmore since 1984, and both have been mechanics. Ashmore once owned a business called Ashmore's Small Engine Repair, he said.

Ashmore had done a number of repairs on Naylor's cars over the years.

He recalls eating his first Thanksgiving in the neighborhood at Ashmore's house. Naylor estimated 200 people attended.

Sunday afternoon, a broomstick still lay in Ashmore's driveway.

Times staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report. Eric P. Newcomer can be reached at (813) 226-3401 or enewcomer@sptimes.com.

>> Fast facts

Dog bites

• An estimated 4.7 million dog bites take place in the United States every year.

• Almost 800,000 of those require medical attention.

• About two-thirds of dog bites occur on or close by property owned by the victim.

Source: American Humane Society

Neighbor with broom helps fend off dogs attacking 84-year-old in Zephyrhills 08/14/11 [Last modified: Sunday, August 14, 2011 9:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. PolitiFact: What's at stake in the tax debate?

    Perspective

    All eyes in Washington have turned toward tax policy after the failure by Congress to replace the Affordable Care Act this summer.

    President Donald Trump speaks during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers regarding tax policy, at the White House in Washington on Sept. 13. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
  2. Police seek suspect in second armed robbery at Tampa Family Dollar in 3 days

    Crime

    Tampa Police are investigating a second armed robbery at the same Family Dollar store within three days.

    Police officers in Tampa are investigating a second armed robbery at the same Family Dollar store within three days. [Screengrab via video]
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: Lots of questions for college football teams in Florida

    College

    In just three weeks, the state of college football in Florida went from high expectations to lots of questions at USF with slow starts, Florida with no offense and Florida State losing quarterback Deondre …

    Despite slow starts, quarterback Quinton Flowers and USF take a 3-0 record into tonight's game against Temple. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
  4. Looking Back: Have you ever heard of Goose Pond?

    News

    I've lived in St. Petersburg most of my life. After a brief spell in North Carolina, my family moved back to St. Petersburg for good in 1978. And in all that time I've never heard the area around Central Plaza referred to as "Goose Pond."

    1952: Factors which made the Central Plaza development logical can be discerned in this photo, by those who know the realty situation here. Low grade and a 55-acre school site in storage kept the 90-acre Goose Pond (upper center) almost bare until now. 

TIMES
  5. Red Cross finds launching pad for Hurricane Irma help at Idlewild Baptist

    Human Interest

    LUTZ — The Rev. Ron Alexander, pastor of Baxterville Baptist Church in Lumberton, Miss., stirred gallons of chili in the mid-afternoon heat on Monday.

    The Rev. Ron Alexander, pastor of Baxterville Baptist Church in Mississippi, stirs a pot of chili. He is part of the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief team stationed at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz.