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Rottweiler attacks woman in Revere

Neighbors, police rush to her aid

Neighbors used a rake, broom, and plastic bats to beat a rottweiler that was biting and dragging a woman it had attacked as she was walking to work yesterday , according to Revere police.

A police officer working at a detail ended the attack; he shot the dog twice, killing it.

The 40-year-old woman, whom police did not identify, was sent to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was treated for serious arm and leg injuries. It was not known last night whether she had been released.

The attack occurred about 6:45 a.m. on Sagamore Street, police said. The dog had escaped with another rottweiler by tunneling under a fence .

Joe Talluto , who resides next door to the house where the dogs were kept, said he heard the commotion through his kitchen window. He ran outside with two plastic bats to try to scare the dogs away, he said.

When he got outside , he said, he saw one of the dogs had the woman "on the ground, pretty much chewing on her arm." She had fled from the sidewalk to a backyard, where she was trying to defend herself with her purse.

Neighbors ran over to help. While the dog was attacking the woman, the second rottweiler tried to keep the neighbors at bay, according to police.

"Nothing seemed to be fazing" the dogs, Talluto said. "They just realized this woman was afraid, and no matter what anybody did -- people that had rakes and whatever -- they were focused on this lady."

Police Sergeant Ted Michalski, who was working a detail at Revere and Sagamore streets when he heard the dogs barking and the screams for help, ran to the scene.

Michalski fired one shot into the attacking animal's side after it did not respond to his shouts, police Lieutenant Joe Cafarelli said in an interview last night. The dog briefly released the woman, glanced at the officer, and again attacked her, he said. Cafarelli then fired a second shot, which killed the dog .

The second dog was quarantined at its home as police continue their investigation , according to Cafarelli, who said a court order would be needed to take further action.

Talluto said the attack lasted about 15 minutes . He has lived in the neighborhood for more than three years, he said, but was unaware there were rottweilers next door.

Talluto said it was "absolutely appalling" that one of the dogs was still in the neighborhood.

"Both of those dogs should have definitely been put down," Talluto said. "No question about it."

Revere's animal control officer could not be reached for comment last night.

Some state lawmakers have pushed for a ban on pit bulls and other controversial dog breeds, with some legislators contending that Massachusetts should overhaul its laws to reduce the number of attacks by such animals.