By Andy Boyle, St. Petersburg Times
A 54-year-old woman was severely injured in a dog attack Wednesday morning, police said. Arkies V. Thomas of St. Petersburg was bitten in the face, right arm and right ankle and taken to Bayfront Medical Center.
Thomas was visiting the home of a relative, Edra K. Morgan, 30, at 3751 First Ave. S. When Thomas arrived about 10:30 a.m., the 1-year-old pit bull was chained in the back yard. As Morgan helped her walk past the gate to avoid the dog, the chain broke, 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.
An unidentified man pulled the dog away and put it in a nearby shed. Thomas and Morgan then ran into the house.
Animal Control took possession of the dog. Joseph Bethune Jr., 32, who lives at the house, signed over custody to Animal Control.
This isn't the first incident involving a dog at the house. When the St. Petersburg police narcotics unit served a search warrant there April 1, a different pit bull attacked an undercover detective, police said. It was fatally shot.
Three men were arrested during that incident and charged with various narcotics charges. Police do not know whether there's a relation between the current residents and those previously arrested.
Update September 8, 2010 2:02pm - The following article is from Tampa Bay Online:
Pit bull attacks, bites face of St. Pete woman
A 54-year-old St. Petersburg woman was attacked by a pit bull this morning while visiting a relative's house, police said.
Arkies V. Thomas received a massive bite wound to her lower face and other injuries when she was attacked at 10:30 a.m., police said. She was rushed to Bayfront Medical Center as a trauma alert.
Thomas was visiting a relative at 3751 First Ave. N., where a pit bull was chained in the back yard, police said. Thomas parked in an alley, where the relative, Edra Morgan, 30, met her and escorted her along the side of the home so the dog wouldn't see them, police said.
The pit bull broke free of the chain, ran to where the women were and lunged at Thomas, biting her face, police said. She was also bitten on the right arm and ankle, police said.
Morgan tried pulling the animal off Thomas, even striking the dog with a brick, police said. An unknown man eventually pulled the animal off Thomas and secured it on a nearby shed, and the women fled into the house, police said.
Pinellas County Animal Services later confiscated the 1-year-old pit bull terrier, whose name is King. The dog's owner, Joseph Bethune Jr., who lives at the First Avenue North house, has signed over custody to the agency. King had never been registered with the county, according to Animal Services.
The dog will be put in quarantine for 10 days to ensure he is not rabid, after which he probably will be euthanized, according to Pinellas County Animal Services.
On April 1, another pit bull attacked an undercover officer while narcotics detectives were serving a search warrant at the same address, police said. That animal was shot and killed.