He lost so much blood that he passed out multiple times, NBC reported.
Chris Chodkowski was at Central Park with his wife Erica, their nine-month-old daughter, and pet labradoodle, the morning of Wednesday, June 12, when the pit bull came up from behind.
“We didn’t hear him barking; we didn’t know another dog was near us,” Erica Chodkowski told PIX11.
Chodkowski said the dog jumped onto the bench and her husband put his arm out to shield their infant daughter from a possible attack. That’s when the pit bull sank its teeth into the man’s forearm.
“The dog really latched onto his arm,” Erica told PIX11.
Graphic images of the attack show the severity of the damage.
A beautiful day in Central Park turned terrifying for a family when a pit bull charged at them and attacked one of them. https://t.co/MeJcADtpqS
— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) June 13, 2019
“He lost consciousness twice due to blood loss and had to get 30 stitches,” said Charu Chaturvedi, who set up a GoFundMe campaign page to help the family with medical bills. “All this happened as his 9 month old infant looked on. Erica frantically tried to help him and call 911 with the help of several caring bystanders.”
Erica told The Patch that as her husband faded in and out of consciousness, bystanders rushed to help and someone applied a tourniquet to stem the flow of blood.
She told NBC that immediately after the attack, the pit bull’s owner grabbed his dog and said, “I don’t know why he did this”—and then left.
Chodkowski added that during the ordeal, the couple’s baby was screaming inconsolably.
“She was hysterical crying, so I’m shocked someone would leave with the baby being a mess,” Chodkowski told ABC7NY. “The amount of blood was really scary so I’m surprised he just left like that.”
Erica described the dog owner as a neatly-dressed man in his 50s with brown hair. The pit bull is described as weighing 60-70 pounds, white with reddish spots. Neither the owner nor the dog have been found.
“I kept saying to him please don’t leave I need to speak with you,” Erica Chodkowski told PIX 11, worried whether the pit bull had received its rabies shots.
“Unfortunately, his insurance coverage ran out prior to this unfortunate event and so the medical bills from this tragedy will begin to pile up,” Chaturvedi said on GoFundMe. “In addition to the medical care he has received, he is now faced with the prospect of painful rounds of rabies shots over the next month.”
Erica added her husband’s injuries have affected his ability to care for their daughter.
“My husband’s a big guy and he’s really shaken up,” Erica told ABC7. “He’s really hurt, it affects our life a lot, to keep going back for rabies shots for over a month. He’s in a sling, he can’t hold the baby. This was a big deal.”
She said she has filed a police report and hopes the dog owner is found.
“So many people were supportive and so kind about it that I feel like lots of people have their eyes out now for the dog,” Erica said, according to The Patch.