A pit bull bite to the right leg of a woman in Itta Bena on Sunday afternoon required 1,600 stitches to close, according to Itta Bena Police.
“He did major damage,” said John Washington, the officer who responded to the call. “Bit almost to the bone.”
Becky Lee Grimes was attacked as she was walking through a frequently used shortcut behind the home at 217 Morris St. at about 6 p.m. Sunday. She was taken to Greenwood Leflore Hospital and released Monday.
Washington said the people at the home keep the dog chained to a tree in the yard.
“This lady was coming through the pathway, and he broke loose in the yard and attacked her in the back,” Washington said. “She ran and jumped on a car.”
When officers arrived, the brown and white dog was on the screened-in porch at the front of the home. They stayed at the house from about 6:30 to about 9:15 trying to capture the frenzied animal.
Officers came at the dog from through the house, but it escaped into the home. It lunged at Officer Michael Jackson’s throat and bit Fireman Eugene Davis on the hand.
Davis eventually collared the dog with a homemade pole.
The animal was kept in a cage at the police station until Monday afternoon when it was picked up and taken to the Leflore County Humane Society in Greenwood.
Police Chief Marvin Flowers said the case is still under investigation, and he will contact the district attorney’s office about what charges to file when it finishes.
They will have to hold the dog at the Humane Society at least 10 to 14 days, Flowers said. After that, a decision will be made as to its fate.
“We’re not planning on bringing him back inside the city limits,” he said.
Washington said the resident at the home said she was not the dog’s owner.
“It’s really not her dog,” he said. “I think it belongs to somebody out of town or something.”
Washington said the dog’s ear was damaged and bruised, possibly from a rash.
Flowers said Itta Bena is going to start enforcing its leash ordinance. It requires that dogs be kept in enclosed areas on leashes no longer than six feet. The penalty for the first offense is at least $100, and later offenses are at least $500. It also gives the city the right to put to death the dogs once their owner is convicted.
“I want all the citizens to be aware there is a law, and they will be charged,” Flowers said. “We’re not going to tolerate no vicious dogs inside the city limits, pit bulls running around, rottweilers, whatever it might be.”
Flowers is giving a copy of the ordinance to all his officers and said they will start notifying the county dog catcher when they see animals loose.
“I’m just trying to make Itta Bena a safe place to live at and come to,” he said.