A 25-year-old man was left in critical condition Saturday after he was attacked by several pit bulls on Chicago’s West Side, police said.
Nikita Hampton Taylor was walking in the 1200 block of South Troy Street around 12:38 p.m. when police said he was attacked by several dogs.
Witnesses said Taylor was walking in the area when the dogs started running towards him.
“I heard the dogs, which I’ve heard them before, then I came outside and this guy is fighting for his life,” said witness Jewell Edwards. “I don’t know if his arm is still on. The skin pulled off the side of his face.”
Police said the exact number of attacking dogs was not known, but witness accounts say between three and six pit bulls attacked, biting the Taylor’s face and arms.
The owner of some of the dogs, Walter Fields, said there were six dogs total, four of which he owns and two others that are his brothers.
Neighbors said they saw the dog owner holding back two dogs by their collar, but said he could not gain control of the others.
Witnesses ran over with bottles, cans and bats to try and scare the dogs away, but residents say the incident lasted between 10 and 20 minutes.
“A guy pulled up in a Cadillac in an alley and took out a baseball bat, another guy pulled up and got a chain to help,” Edwards said. “This was a pit bull frenzy, they were tearing him up.”
Some neighbors said they’ve never seen the dogs attack before, but others claim they are vicious.
“I don’t even walk by that fence because they are out of control,” said one neighbor.
Fields claims the dogs are nice but that Taylor was taunting them by kicking the fence. The dogs got loose and attacked the man, he said.
“He provoked the dogs to attack him. The chain fell off when he kept kicking the gate, then the dog pushed the gate open after he kicked it a couple times and they ran through after the chain fell,” he said. “They are my babies. My dogs are good dogs. Sure they will bite, any dog with teeth will bite, especially if you provoke them.”
Taylor's father, Shawn Taylor, was returning from the store when he saw the attack.
“I still was going to help but when I realized it was my son then I really, I don’t know what I did, but I picked up a brick that was laying there and I hit one of the dogs and then he jumped off my son,” said Shawn Taylor. “People driving down the street started hopping out of their cars. They jumped out of the car with whatever weapons they had and they helped me fend the dogs off my son.”
Shawn Taylor said his son needs surgery and that he suffered numerous bites to his legs and arms and one on his face.
“There was so much blood, I don’t know where all he was bit at but they got him pretty good,” he said.
Animal Control said a "dangerous dog investigation" is pending but that the dogs were secured by the time an officer arrived and could not legally be taken.
Animal Control said a dangerous dog investigations are dependent on if a dog has a history of biting, the age of the victim, the extent of the injuries, the number of bites a victim sustains and if the dog has killed another dog or animal.
The organization noted that there is no city ordinance or law that dictates how many dogs a person can own.
Fields said he received more than a dozen tickets from police after the incident and said he does not train his dogs to fight.
“I have lots of tickets, too many tickets,” said Fields. “I don’t see why [I wouldn’t be able to keep the dogs]. They don’t randomly bite people.”
Police said, of the 13 citations issued, six were for not having required licenses for the dogs, four were for failure to keep the animals under restraint, and three were for lack of rabies vaccinations.
A hearing date was scheduled for October, police said.
A Chicago Animal Care and Control spokesman confirmed Sunday that the six dogs were impounded as a result of the preliminary investigation and will be held as long as needed.