Church volunteers seriously injured in pit bull attack, saved by neighbor
4:32 PM, Mar 19, 2013
8:42 PM, Mar 20, 2013
TULSA - Two women were rushed into surgery Tuesday after they were seriously injured in a pit bull attack in north Tulsa.
Police said three ladies from a local church were going door to door, ministering to residents on North Lewis, when two of ladies entered a yard in the 2700 block on North Lewis and knocked on the wrong door.
"When they knocked on the door, our preliminary investigation shows that the dog came bursting through the door and attacked two of the women very savagely and very viciously," Cpt. Steve Odom with the Tulsa Police Department.
Police said a pit bull mauled both women and wouldn't stop attacking the victims. They suffered severe bites to their faces, arms and legs. The owner and witnesses were helpless to save them.
Michael Harrell was at work a few blocks away when he heard the victims' screams. He has a conceal-carry permit and rushed to the scene with his gun.
Harrell said his first concern was getting the dog away from the victims so he could get a clear shot at the animal.
"I tried to shake the gate and yell at the dog. After about 10 or 15 seconds, the dog finally let go and came running at me," said Harrell. "I asked the lady, 'Is this your dog?' She said yes. I said, 'Can I shoot it?' She said yes. And I shot it in the back of the head."
Odom calls Harrell a hero.
"There's absolutely no doubt in mind, after 30-plus years of police experience, that he saved the lives of these two ladies," Odom said.
Harrell says he did what he had to in order to save the victims.
"I just hope they are going to be OK," said Harrell. "I was glad I was able to be at the right place at the right time and was able to help."
Police say the owner of the dog could face criminal charges, but Jean Letcher, with the city of Tulsa, said Wednesday only two citations will be issued.
Letcher says the owner only violated two ordinances--having an un-neutered dog and not registering it.
TPD investigators intend to hand their case to the District Attorney's office when it is complete.