The victim’s screams pierced the early morning calm on July 30.
A woman in her mid-50s, who was walking her dog at 6:30 a.m. near the 1200 block of Forest Avenue, was approached by three dogs who had left their owner’s fenced-in backyard through an unlocked gate. One of the dogs, a black Rottweiler, attempted to mate with the woman’s dog, said Commander Ryan Glew of the Evanston Police Department.
According to the police report, the Rottweiler’s attentions were unwanted and aggressive, so the woman picked up her dog and began to walk away from the three unleashed dogs when the Rottweiler grabbed her forearm, bit down hard and dragged the victim several feet north on Forest Avenue toward Dempster Street.
The woman’s screams alerted the Rottweiler’s owner as well as homeowners in the area, according to the police report. The dog’s owner managed to wrestle the dog off of the victim’s arm, a neighbor called 911 and the Evanston police and fire departments responded quickly.
Cmdr. Glew confirmed that the victim was transported to Evanston Hospital with lacerations and a bone fracture; she was admitted and underwent emergency surgery. The RoundTable was unable to find out any additional information about the extent of her injuries or how long she stayed in the hospital.
Attempts to speak to the victim as well as the dog owner have been unsuccessful thus far.
Evanston’s animal warden, Jason Pounds, was unavailable to respond to this incident. As a backup procedure, the City contacted the Cook County Animal Control. Brittany Hill, Public Information Officer with the Cook County Bureau of Administration, confirmed that although a warden did not respond to this incident, the department ensured that the 10-day rabies observation period was followed.
The RoundTable has been unable to determine the weight or sex of the Rottweiler. Although the dog was permitted to return home with its owner, Evanston police could not say if the dog was examined by a veterinarian as procedure requires. Hill confirmed a Cook County Bite Report was completed and forwarded to the Animal and Rabies Control office.
Within the past 365 days, there have been 27 animal bites in which the police were called and completed a report. Dog bites occur every month of the year, with June and July attacks more frequent than in other months. Seventy percent of animal bites take place in the afternoon and evening hours; this particular incident, at 6:30 a.m., was the earliest reported by at least two hours. The incident reports gathered by police and made available to the public do not include the breed of the dog, only the nature of the incident, the date and location.
The dog’s owner cooperated with the responding officers and received a citation for a “dangerous dog” and for the dog being off-leash. A citation is a non-jailable offense subject to an administrative hearing and a fine. The amount of the fine is up to the judge hearing the citation and could range from $35 to $500. According to Cmdr. Glew, if the damages suffered by this woman had been caused by a person instead of a dog, the event would be classified as a criminal offense and the penalties would be more severe.
Evanston police have no record of previous reports concerning either the dog owner or the Rottweiler in question.
The hearing for this case is scheduled for Thursday, August 19 at 9:00 a.m. at City Hall, 2100 Ridge Rd., Room 2800. The hearing will take place in person without any virtual access and is open to the public.