By Aldrin Brown February 2, 2001, Friday Copyright 2001 Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service The Orange County Register February 2, 2001, Friday
(SANTA ANA, Calif.) -- A bull mastiff dog was shot and killed by police Thursday, moments after attacking an off-duty sheriff's forensic specialist and her dog outside her home.
Tamara Jurjis of Santa Ana lost a 4-inch chunk of flesh from her upper right arm and suffered puncture wounds to her buttocks, and bumps and bruises to her face during the 1:50 p.m. attack. Her dog also suffered minor injuries after the melee, which occurred at a condominium complex in the 1400 block of Cabrillo Park.
The 90-pound bull mastiff, an English breed known for its courage and discipline, was found by police about a quarter-mile from the site of the attack in an alley behind a supermarket.
"The officer had no way to contain the dog and, knowing what had just happened, he didn't want to let it get away," police Sgt. Raul Luna said.
Jurjis, 38, was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where she received an unspecified number of stitches and released. Her dog was taken to a family veterinarian and its condition was not available.
Residents of the complex said they heard screams for help and found the woman bleeding on the ground, while the two dogs fought.
"She had blood all over her face and her arm," said Kelly Williams, 33. Jurjis suffered injuries to her face when she was knocked down in the attack, police said.
Neighbors said the bull mastiff had been wandering in the complex for most of the day and appeared peaceful.
"She said that the dog came up to her dog, and they kind of started to mix it up," sheriff's spokesman Steve Doan said. "It appeared that she was trying to intervene."
The potential danger of bull mastiffs is at the center of a debate. In 1995, a 7-year-old Yorba Linda boy needed about 100 stitches and staples after being mauled by a bull mastiff. German legislators are considering legislation to ban the breed.
But some dog experts say bull mastiffs are exquisitely disciplined when raised correctly.