A woman is recovering after police say she was attacked by six pit bulls while walking her daughter's dog Wednesday night in Taunton, Massachusetts.
An officer on routine patrol was in the area of 187 Broadway at 8:45 p.m. when he saw a woman running in the middle of the road. The officer then witnessed six pit bulls following and attacking 51-year-old Rochelle Silva.
"At least three of them started charging at me down the driveway," Silva said.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
She ended up in her neighbor's yard, with her body over her daughter's dog, Ace, trying to protect him.
The officer who noticed Silva pulled over his cruiser and ran to assist her. When he approached, some of the dogs turned toward him as if they were going to attack the officer.
Police said because the dogs were on top of the woman, the officer was unable to discharge his firearm safely at any of the dogs, so instead, he went back to his cruiser and activated the sirens and air horn to try to distract the animals.
The distraction allowed the woman enough time to get to her feet and allow the officer and a good Samaritan to get the woman into the officer's cruiser.
"I thought I was going to die," Silva said. "The chunks that were coming out of my body, I could feel them."
"She was in a ball, and a guy pulled over, and he was wearing a neon shirt and was helping her," neighbor Stefanie Murphy recalled.
At that time, the owner of the dogs came out of his house to try and get the dogs under control.
Police said that's when some of the dogs tried to jump through the open front driver's side window of the cruiser to attack the officer. The officer was able to roll up the window to avoid being bitten, but the good Samaritan was bitten in the process.
The attack also killed Ace.
The dog's owner was eventually able to get all the dogs back inside his house.
"He had six of them, and here, you're not supposed to have more than three of them without a kennel license, and I doubt he had that, either," said the victim's daughter, Arianna Silva.
The woman who was attacked was taken to Rhode Island Hospital and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The good Samaritan took himself to an area hospital for treatment of a leg injury.
The family says Silva can't walk, and she'll now be unable to work as she'll need to go to rehab. They also miss Ace and want justice.
"It's how you raise them," Rochelle Silva said. "He had to be raising them as a fighter does, because they were on attack."
"I hope they put them down," Arianna Silva said. "As much as I'm saddened for my mom that it happened to her, I'm so happy it didn't happen to a little girl or boy walking down the street with their mom or dad."
An initial investigation showed that the owner had opened his door when one of the pit bulls escaped. When he turned to get the dog, the other dogs pushed through the door and immediately began attacking the woman.
The incident remains under investigation.
All six dogs have been seized by Taunton Animal Control and will be quarantined prior to a hearing with the owner.