Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pit bull bites St. Petersburg woman at scene of previous dog attack

ST. PETERSBURG — Five months ago, a St. Petersburg narcotics officer serving a warrant at 3751 First Ave. N shot and killed a charging pit bull.

At the same wood-frame house Wednesday morning, another pit bull mauled a 54-year-old grandmother.

Arkies V. Thomas was bitten in the face, right arm and right ankle before two people were able to pull the 1-year-old dog away from her, authorities said. She underwent surgery at Bayfront Medical Center Wednesday afternoon, her family said.

The two attacks were unrelated, and occurred while different residents lived at the house.

"It's just a tragedy," said Thomas' husband, Willie Fudge, 64.

The victim's niece, Edra K. Morgan, 30, had moved into the house a month ago, according to Fudge. The pit bull belonged to Joseph Bethune Jr., 32, who also lives at the house.

Thomas was running errands Wednesday when she dropped in at about 10:30 a.m. The pit bull was tethered by a heavy chain to a post in the back yard. Thomas was unfamiliar with the dog, her family said.

As Morgan helped her aunt walk past the gate to avoid the pit bull, the chain broke and the animal bolted, police said.

The dog ran around the side of the house and lunged at Thomas, biting her face and leaving a massive bite wound. Morgan could not pull the dog off Thomas so she picked up a brick and hit the dog in the head.

"She beat him with that brick. Maybe that's what saved her life," said Fudge, who spoke to his wife before the surgery.

An unidentified man pulled the dog away and put it in a nearby shed. Thomas and Morgan then ran into the house.

At his home on 29th Avenue S, Fudge said his wife, a mother of four and grandmother of 21, was a family person who devoted her life to raising her children. At the hospital, she seemed more concerned with others than herself, he said.

"She asked me, 'Who's going to do the cooking now?' "

Fudge said doctors assured the family that his wife would make a full recovery with reconstructive surgery.

Near the house where the attack occurred, neighbor Steve Sutphin said: "I certainly hope they get rid of that dog. I could see it was aggressive. It was straining to get off that rope and attack the paramedics."

The pit bull will be euthanized, according to Pinellas County Animal Services operations manager Greg Andrews, who said the pit bull was probably not neutered. Andrews also said that tethering a dog to a post creates aggression in canines and is a violation of county ordinance.

Pit bull bites St. Petersburg woman at scene of previous dog attack 09/08/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 10:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    A Florida Highway Patrol Academy class in the late 1980s. Typically, graduating classes had about 80 recruits. But the most recent class has less than half that as the agency continues to struggle to fill vacancies. [

Florida: Highway Patrol]
  2. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze

    Retail

    First it was Play-Doh. Then Gak. There have been dozens of variations for sale of the oozy, gooey, squishable, stretchable kids' toy through the generations.

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  3. After last year's drug-related deaths, Tampa's Sunset Music Festival says it's stepping up safety, security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Alex Haynes worked three jobs. He had a fiance and an infant son. He owned his own home in Melbourne. Last summer, the 22-year-old attended the Sunset Musical Festival at Raymond James Stadium.

    He left in an ambulance.

    Last year’s Sunset Music Festival was marked by dozens of medical emergencies.
  4. What you need to know for Friday, May 26

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Read this morning why Florida's most prized sweet corn is nearly extinct. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in

    Consumer

    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times