A Surrey man pushed his fist deep into a pit bull’s throat as part of a quick reaction that saved two other neighbours from an unprovoked pit bull attack Saturday night.
Ron Edmonds said he didn’t have a choice when a pit bull, named Rance, turned from mauling another man and bit down on his hand instead.
“I remember someone telling me you have to put your hand down the throat and he let go a little bit,” Edmonds told CTV News, showing off bandages that covered 12 puncture wounds on his right hand.
“I kept thinking, if I let go of this dog, I’m dead,” he said.
The incident began in a bedroom in one of the two basement suites in the large Surrey home at 124th St. and 74A Ave. Corey Benedict was visiting a person who lived there, and the dog suddenly attacked, his family said.
“The dog just turned on him,” said Dan Hill, Benedict’s cousin. “Corey was petting him, but it sensed some fear out of Corey and attacked.”
His screams prompted some neighbours to call 9-1-1. Edmonds heard the cries, and rushed from his suite to help. He said he found Rance mauling Benedict’s hand, and wouldn’t let go.
“I grabbed the choke collar and it broke,” Edmonds said, adding that he knew if he managed to detach the dog, the dog would likely attack him. When Rance finally let go, he lunged at Edmonds’ hand.
Edmonds put his fist in the dog’s mouth and pushed down, choking the dog, until it let go of his hand.
Then he wrapped his arm around Rance’s neck until the dog fell unconscious and then locked it in the bedroom.
Meanwhile, Benedict had stumbled outside to the front lawn, bleeding, and lay down, in shock. By that time the RCMP had arrived.
“One of the victims was going in and out of consciousness due to his injuries,” said Surrey RCMP Insp. Bruce Stuart.
Officers performed first aid, and paramedics then put Benedict into a stretcher and took him to a hospital. Edmonds walked to the ambulance, which brought him to hospital, where doctors bandaged his hand.
Some bones in Benedict’s hands are broken, and he is due to have surgery soon, said Hill.
The woman who lived in the suite was also bitten but not seriously injured.
As for why it happened, police said animals can be unpredictable.
“No one has any idea what set the dog off,” said Stuart.
Those who know Rance are divided on the dog’s temperment, with neighbor Vic Gill saying that he wouldn’t expect Rance to attack anyone, but Edmonds saying that the dog is “messed up in the head.”
Hill said the dog is pretty “wound up.”
The RCMP took custody of the dog, and handed it over to the SPCA. That agency didn’t return calls, but Hill said the agency told one of the roommates it was likely the dog would be put down.