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Tampa pit bull attack victim: "They started eating me alive"

5:51 PM, Jul 20, 2010   |    comments
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Vanessa Watts shows the injuries she sustained after she was attacked by a pack of pit bulls.

TAMPA, Florida -- "They just started eating me alive," says 48-year-old Vanessa Watts.

Bleeding and bandaged, Watts stood outside her home just hours after crossing paths with a pack of vicious pit bulls, just two blocks from her home.

"My husband, he was on the phone," she recalls, "All he could hear was me screaming."

Photo Gallery: Woman mauled by pack of pit bulls

Watts says she was riding her bicycle home from cashing a check when the dogs somehow escaped their fence. At first she thought they were just chasing her, barking.

But soon she felt the pain of one dog clamping down on her leg. Then, a blur of biting and tearing at her skin.

"I managed to get my hand out of the dog's mouth and I kept kicking him from getting up here," she says pointing to her face.

When police saw the severity of the 16 wounds Watts had endured, they called Animal Control. Officers seized six dogs. Two of them, they say, had such severe injuries that they charged three people living at the home with animal cruelty.

The dogs were now in the hands of Hillsborough County Animal Control.

The owners, James Greene, Demetrius Floyd  and Lula Greene were all charged after the dogs showed signs of fighting and neglect, say officers.

A worker at the shelter showed 10 Connects three of the dogs. One had a broken leg, another with bite marks and cuts.

Watts' grandkids say they have had run-ins with the dogs  too. The animals, they say, have chased them through the neighborhood.
 
Jarvis Tolliver, Watts' son, says he's warned the dogs' owners. "Every time I used to walk by there I used to tell them, 'Y'all need to put those dogs on a chain.' Those are pits. Anyone who raises pits ought to know.'"

The dogs' owners declined to comment. There's no word yet whether any of the animals may be returned.

Vanessa Watts hopes not. But just the same, she says she'll be taking a different route through her neighborhood from now on.

"I think I'll go another way around," she says. "I don't ever want to go through it again."

Animal Control workers say two more dogs involved in the attack were still on the loose. Officers were searching the neighborhood for them.

Eric Glasser, 10 Connects

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