ROCK HILL, S.C. — Tom Brown, 82, has walked at Cherry Park nearly every morning for 30 years.
“Started walking here in ’88. I know this place very well,” Brown said.
For most of those walks, he’s had a dog with him, until something horrible happened Easter Sunday morning.
“Oh my God, my heart’s broken, I loved that dog,” Brown said.
He was walking on a trail around the park, when he heard barking in the woods. What looked like a German shepherd and a pit bull mix, ran out at him and the shepherd attacked, holding his tiny 8-pound terrier in its mouth.
“It grabbed my dog by the back of the head, and I tried to get her away without tearing her, and he grabbed harder. Well then, I got a stick and I kept hitting her with the stick, and she let go and she bit me.”
Brown suffered several puncture wounds on his hand, and he’s getting shots just in case the dog was rabid. His Yorkie, “Abby,” died in the attack.
Rock Hill Police were there in minutes, and found both dogs still on the trail. The pit bull mix was shot and killed when it lunged aggressively at officers.
Brown could hear the shots from where he was in the parking lot, still holding Abby in his hands.
Neither of the two dogs had a collar or any tags. They were scanned for microchips, but they weren’t found either.
Police canvassed the area, asking neighbors around the park if they knew who the dogs might belong to.
On Wednesday, there was a break in the case. The shepherd mix had been taken to York County Animal Control. The owner came looking for it and was immediately cited for two counts of violating the city leash law, not displaying rabies tag and violation of the spray/neuter law.
Brown had never seen either of the two dogs before. He’s glad someone will be held accountable, but it doesn’t change anything.
“I really did love that dog. She couldn’t wait to see me in the morning, and likewise,” he said.
Channel 9 asked York County for copies of the citations. They will not release them, or identify the person who was cited. There is a court date in this case.