Man fights off pit bulls, suffers heart attack

Pit bulls initially attacked 86-year-old man and his puppy

Jeff Warnock was hospitalized after fighting off two pit bulls in his neighborhood, and then having a heart attack. March 1, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
Jeff Warnock was hospitalized after fighting off two pit bulls in his neighborhood, and then having a heart attack. March 1, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

RHODODENDRON, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Jeff Warnock is recovering from a series of events Friday morning that left him injured and hospitalized — he suffered a heart attack after jumping to his neighbor’s side to rescue him from a pit bull attack.

“The blood curdling screams [were] like nothing I’ve ever heard in my life,” Warnock told KOIN 6 News.

When two pit bulls began attacking an 86-year-old man and his puppy in the Rhododendron neighborhood, Warnock said he knew he had to react quickly.

“They had a hold of the man with their head and you can see them shaking their head, kind of like a shark does when it gets a hold of something,” Warnock explained.

Warnock jumped in, using his bare hands to beat off the dogs. He said he tried using his whole body to flatten one of them to the ground to keep him from moving.

“[The man] got about 50 feet away and the dogs broke loose from both me and the owner,” Warnock said. “He attacked the man again.”

At that point, neighbors called 911 and both Warnock and the elderly man were transported to the hospital for their injuries.

Warnock called the pit bull attack a life or death situation. Little did he know that within an hour, his life would be on the line in another way — upon arriving to the hospital, he suffered a heart attack.

Warnock said he has dealt with heart problems in the past.

“Fighting pit bulls is probably not something a guy like me should do,” Warnock said. “Then again, I had no choice.”

KOIN 6 News learned the pit bulls escaped through their owner’s backyard before attacking the elderly man and his puppy. The man, who has not been identified, is expected to recover from his injuries.

The owner of the pit bulls declined an interview with KOIN 6 News, but said he has turned the dogs in to Clackamas County Animal Control. He said the pit bulls have attacked other dogs in the neighborhood before, but insisted they are not dangerous towards people.

But Warnock disagrees.

“Those dogs were looking to hurt that man as much as they were looking to hurt that dog,” he said.

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