SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Jarrett Young used his .45 caliber handgun to fight off a dog that police say pounced on his neighbor.
The attack happened Monday afternoon around noon on Chestnut Street, according to a spokesperson for the Suffolk Police Department.
Michayla Clark, a pit bull owner herself, says she was outside when her neighbor’s dog got loose from an unlocked gate.
Together, Clark and Young tried to lure the dog into a choker collar — but that never happened.
“He just gave me a look. That look of you’re going down,” said Clark, who says she was taken to the ground moments later. “If you get up, you are going to make them more mad.”
Young, an Army veteran, says he couldn’t shoot the dog at first because it was too close to Clark. When she moved her body, he says he found an open shot.
“I took the shot. The dog stopped biting. It froze and fell over,” said Young. “I was just trying to make sure she didn’t die because she had a five month old baby in the house. I did what anybody would have did — shot it.”
Clark escaped with about a dozen bite marks and puncture wounds on her back, arm and hand. She needed stitches and is now in a cast.
“I didn’t scream. I didn’t cry. I was just pissed,” said Clark. “No matter how many people who say pit bulls are aggressive and mean, that’s not the case.”
The 20-year-old says she moved from Florida into her Suffolk home with her son, husband and two dogs just one week before the attack.
She says she’s “extremely grateful” for Young’s help.
“I put a lot of trust and a lot of faith in him at that crucial moment without truly knowing him, just hoping and praying that he had a damn good shot,” Clark said.
Clark says she wasn’t going to press charges against the dog’s owner until the man showed up at her porch a few hours after the attack and started swinging a 2×4 piece of wood.
“If [he] wouldn’t have come on my porch with a board we could have let this slide, but no, not with my baby there,” she said.
A woman who answered the door at the dog’s home on Wednesday did not identify herself to 10 On Your Side’s Joe Fisher but said she didn’t hold any grudges towards her neighbor.
Clark says despite her wounds, her love for pit bulls hasn’t changed a bit.
“No matter how many people who say pit bulls are aggressive and mean, that’s not the case,” she said. “I don’t blame the breed of dog at all. I blame owners for not taking care of their dog like they should.”