ARLINGTON, Texas - Arlington police are looking for the owners of two dogs that mauled a man. An officer shot and killed the dogs to stop the attack.
The victim was attacked Wednesday on Cripple Creek Drive in a neighborhood near Highway 360 and East Mayfield Drive.
Police say the man is expected to survive but is still in critical condition with severe injuries all over his body. Family members have identified the victim as 58-year-old Milton Sturges.
Investigators say the dogs weren’t microchipped and didn’t have collars so they’re hoping the owner comes forward.
A neighbor, who did not want to show her face, says she was leaving her home on Cripple Creek Drive Wednesday morning when she heard a man yelling and fighting for his life.
“At that time, I could see him with his hands around his face and everything,” she recalled. “He was trying what he could to get them off.”
Other neighbors called 911. Police say one of the responding officers determined deadly force was the only option.
“The dogs are still around him and officers already knew the man was being attacked, being dragged down the street,” said Arlington Police Sgt. Karen Standback. “So, therefore, the officer did discharge his weapon and struck both dogs.”
Police say body camera video of the attack is so graphic that they are not releasing it.
“As soon as he walked in somebody's yard, two pit bulls was on him. He didn't have a chance to scream. He just barely had a chance to put his arms up and that was it,” said Omar Sturges, the victim’s nephew. "He just hopes that they find the owner and somebody is punished for it.”
Milton was rushed to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
"Part of his nose is missing. The dogs removed both of his ears,” his nephew explained. “You still able to hear. He's able to see. He's able to talk."
The city keeps records of loose and aggressive dog calls. From 2016 to 2017, records show more than a third of those calls came from the two zip codes closest to the attack. It's a problem the city acknowledges and has taken steps to solve. But the victim's family questions why neighbors — some who may have recorded the attack — didn't step in.
“Apparently, there was people with their cell phones out Facebook Live-ing, taking pictures, recording, everything. They didn't bother to help,” Omar said. “We want to thank that officer that came out. The lady that called. we want to thank both of them because if it wasn't for them, he wouldn't be here today."
“The officer, he had no choice,” the neighbor said. “He had to shoot one a couple times because the dog was still trying to stay on the guy.”
Another neighbor says a detective told her the victim was distributing flyers in the neighborhood. Others say they’ve never seen the dogs before, but they looked healthy like they were cared for.
Neighbors are also relieved the dogs didn’t attack anyone else, especially children who go to the nearby elementary school.
“Those babies are walking to school so it could’ve easily been one of them,” said neighbor Lakeshia Vasquez.
If the dogs had an owner, that person could face a felony charge for the dog attack. Right now, police just want to speak to that person and figure out how the dogs got loose.
Omar says his uncle will have several more surgeries and a long recovery. But considering his injuries, he's in good spirits.