Pit Bull Attacks Woman Protecting Children

A woman who tried to lure a dangerous pit bull away from several small children was violently attacked.

The attack happened Monday afternoon in the 300 block of South Wall Street in Benson.  The 43 year-old victim said she noticed a pit bull puppy had escaped from a fence behind a home on W. Harnett Street and had been barking at several children who were outside.

The victim said while she was trying to lure the puppy away from the youth, an adult pit bull came from behind the fence and began attacking her.  Benson Police said the attack continued until a neighbor saw the woman being repeatedly bitten and threw a metal pipe to the victim so she could fight off the dog.

Another person was able to contain the dogs in a barn until they were seized by a Benson animal control officer.

The victim was taken by ambulance to Wake Medical Center for treatment of injuries to her legs and hand.

Officers said the dog that attacked the woman has been quarantined at the Johnston County Animal Shelter in Smithfield.  Police are still trying to locate the owner of the dog who lives in Raleigh, who reportedly had left the animal with a relative, Katherine James Freeman, 42, of W. Harnett Street, while they went on vacation out-of-state.  The relative said they agreed to keep the dog for 2 weeks but it had been three weeks since they animal had been at her home and she had been unable to contact the owner to retrieve the animal prior to the attack.

Police Captain Greg Percy said officers have been unsuccessful in notifying the owner, including obtaining information if the pit bull had been vaccinated for rabies.

Freeman was cited by police with violating a town leash law ordinance.