Off-duty Detroit police officer fights off dogs to save woman

Published On: Apr 16 2013 10:56:39 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 16 2013 11:23:07 PM EDT

A woman is hospitalized after she was attacked by a pair of dogs Tuesday in Detroit, but an off-duty police officer may have saved her life when he fought off the animals.

DETROIT -

A woman is hospitalized after she was attacked by a pair of dogs Tuesday in Detroit, but an off-duty police officer may have saved her life when he fought off the animals.

Jessie Clarke, 64, was sitting on her front porch Tuesday afternoon at her home on Detroit's east side when two pitbulls attacked her. The dogs took her to the ground and mauled her. Neighbors tried to help, using any and everything they could find including steel pipes, a crow bar and a tire iron.

Witnesses say one man even tried using his truck to run over the dogs.

Then, help finally came. Off-duty Detroit police officer Tyrone Gray just happened to be driving by.

"I had to take police action to make sure this woman would survive," Gray said.

Officer Gray shot both of the dogs, killing one of them instantly. The other dog ran across the street to the old Cleveland Middle School. That's where neighbors say the dogs came from. They say a construction company renovating the school has guard dogs there. Local 4 spoke with one of the construction workers.

"These dogs are not ours," said Marcus Johnson, a construction worker.

Johnson said the pitbulls did show up at the site Tuesday while they were working.

"I just yelled at them and they just left," he said.

The dogs went to Clarke's house where they viciously attacked the woman, leaving her with severe injuries to her face, head and both arms. Family members are praying she pulls through.

"This is the worst thing I've seen in my career, in 15 years," Gray said.

Police are sending out warnings to neighbors to monitor pets closely, especially as the weather becomes warmer and more people, and children, will be outside.

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