Witnesses say man bit, choked dog
Witnesses say a man wearing only boxer shorts attacked a dog and tried to eat the animal in the middle of the intersection of Christie Street and Pembroke Street West early Wednesday morning. The man was taken to the Pembroke Regional Hospital under the Mental Health Act. For more community photos please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.
Witnesses allege the man who viciously attacked a dog on a downtown street early Wednesday was trying to eat the animal alive.
The Pembroke Police Service confirmed Thursday that a young man has been apprehended as details about the bizarre case began emerging some 24 hours after rumours of the heinous incident shocked the community.
Police admitted the male, who was not identified, to the Pembroke Regional Hospital under provisions of the Mental Health Act. The dog, described as a female pit bill, suffered non-life threatening injuries and remains in the care of Pembroke Animal Control.
While authorities are saying little, eyewitnesses are recounting a terrifying scene in the early morning hours of Wednesday at the intersection of Pembroke Street West and Christie Street. At around 1 a.m., a woman living nearby said she and her husband were awakened by the mournful howls of an animal in distress.
Looking out the front window, the couple saw a man wearing only a pair of boxer shorts lying on top of a dog. Racing outside, she saw the man biting the dog’s back and head.
“It was something out of a horror movie,” said the woman, who asked not be identified. “He was literally eating her alive. It was terrible.”
Driving back from Renfrew with a friend, 18-year-old Tanner Comeau, of Petawawa, observed the black form of the pit bull lying in the middle of the intersection. At first, he thought the dog had been struck by a car. Then he saw the figure of a man leaning over the dog’s body.
Stopping the car, Mr. Comeau and his friend screamed at the attacker before calling 911. The pit bull was gushing blood as a circle of bystanders gathered to yell at the man.
“He had the dog in a choke hold and was biting it,” said Mr. Comeau. “He was trying to eat it or something.”
The man appeared to be on drugs and acted erratically, witnesses reported, adding concerned citizens were reluctant to approach the assailant. Finally, the dog ran off and was taken indoors by residents. The woman said she wrapped the dog up in a blanket noting she believes the man may have been the owner because he kept calling it “Jessie.” She noted the dog had bite marks all over its body.
“She was such a sweet animal,” she said adding it appeared the dog may have recently given birth to puppies.
The man then ran down the Christie Street hill towards the Pembroke Memorial Centre. Mr. Comeau suspects that the crowd may have scared him off, saving the dog from sustaining fatal wounds.
“If we hadn’t pulled over it would definitely be dead by now,” he said. “It’s something I don’t want to see again.”
Constable Dillon Gerundin, community services officer with the Pembroke Police Service, said they received a call for assistance around 12:30 a.m. When they arrived in the area, officers found a man wandering around with very little clothing on. They observed the suspect biting a dog lying on the ground. However, Const. Gerundin said the man was not under the influence of bath salts.
“We can’t rule out drug use (but) there is no evidence of bath salts,” said Const. Gerundin.
Bath salts are a powdered drug that contains at least one amphetamine-type substance known as methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV. It can speed up the central nervous system and produces a number of powerful side-effects that include hallucinations, paranoia and violent behaviour. The drug has been recently suspected in connection with several gruesome crimes in the U.S.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist