Reporting Jay Levine
(CBS) — A 64-year-old South Side woman remained in critical condition Saturday, a day after she and her pet Chihuahua were attacked by a neighbor’s pit bulls.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports on the chaotic 15-minute period where two women were hurt and three children had to be rescued by firefighters.
It was a tragic incident, but it could have been worse — but for quick-thinking police and quick-responding firefighters.
Marilyn Grimes’ family members on Saturday described the victim as a sweet person and animal lover. They spoke to Levine just a few feet from the scene of the vicious pit-bull attack that sent the 64-year-old woman to the hospital.
“She’s going to make it. As far as her left leg, they don’t know yet,” cousin Mildred Carter said.
Grimes and her 5-year-old Chihuahua Queenie, walking in an alley in the 8700 block of South Cregier Avenue, were attacked by three of her neighbors’ dogs around 6:30 p.m.
Queenie was killed instantly. Saturday afternoon, the dogs’ owner — herself bitten in the melee – said she reached out to Grimes’ family to tell them she was sorry.
“I just want to tell her I’m sorry. I’m not a bad person. I take really good care of my dogs,” Katesha Curtiss says.
After the attack, her dogs scurried back into the house and were blocked by officers from getting out again. But that created another problem for three children in an upstairs bedroom.
“Luckily for us, their bedroom door was closed, but the only way to get out of the bedroom was through the window and that’s when we called CFD to have their ladder come,” Chicago Police Sgt. Mark Nottoli said.
After the children were out, his officers and animal control personnel went into the house to try to get the dogs. Authorities had to use stun guns to subdue the animals.
Grimes was rushed to Stroger Hospital with injuries that included mauled legs, a broken hand and puncture wounds on her arms and face, Nottoli said. Yet the woman was able to calmly tell police what had happened, he said.
“Courageous lady,” Nottoli said.
The pit bulls were taken by the city’s animal-control department, which did not return calls Saturday.