The two dogs responsible for the mauling and subsequent death of a 53-year-old woman in New Haven last month were euthanized Wednesday.

The American bulldogs, which belonged to Yale School of Medicine psychiatry resident Hamilton Hicks, attacked Jocelyn Winfrey outside Hicks’ house in Beaver Hills on June 20. Winfrey lost an arm, a leg and both eyes, and died from her injuries at Yale-New Haven Hospital the week after the attack, police said.

The dogs attacked Winfrey after she entered the fenced-in yard of Hicks’ home in the early evening. Hicks attempted to pull the dogs off Winfrey and sustained minor bite wounds in the process.

While Hicks, 36, was not charged for using the dogs as a weapon, police arrested him after finding three bags of crack cocaine in his possession at the time. Hicks was charged with narcotics possession and was released from police custody with a court date set for July 1, later rescheduled to July 15. Hicks told police he had smoked crack cocaine earlier on the day of the attack.

University spokeswoman Karen Peart told the New Haven Register that Hicks was on leave at the time of the incident and remains on leave.

The two dogs, named Nomad and Pirate, were registered and vaccinated, according to city animal control officials.

“There was nothing illegal about the dogs,” New Haven Police Spokesman David Hartman told the Hartford Courant. “There was nothing illegal about where they were.”

Neighbors who attempted to intervene in the attack — some hurled rocks and a garbage can at the dogs, while others arrived with a broom — recounted a horrific scene to local news outlets.  

“It plays in my head. Her eyes. Her ankles. Her arms. Part of her face, her ears — I could see the bones on her body. It was unbelievable,” Ward 29 Alder and Hicks’ neighbor Brian Wingate told the New Haven Independent.

A fundraising website set up by a friend of the Winfrey family to pay for funeral expenses had raised over $4,000 of its $10,000 goal by July 6.

  • do it seriously

    Never trust pit bulls. If he would have paid attention to the genetic history of pit bulls, this could have been avoided. DR. Benjamin Van Raalte, plastic surgeon.

    During his 27-year career, Dr. Benjamin Van Raalte detected a trend.

    “It wasn’t until the pit bulls (became popular) that I started seeing the really vicious attacks,” the Bettendorf plastic surgeon said Monday. “The worst pit bull mauling I ever saw was an incident in which a dog bit off the entire cheek of a 5-year-old boy.”

    Of the severe bites he has treated, Van Raalte estimates, more than half have been the result of a pit bull attack. The high number of serious injuries, along with the appalling and increasingly popular “sport” of dog fighting have convinced him the time has come for an all-out ban on pit bull breeding.

    “I’m just saying it’s time to stop breeding them,” he said. “Yes, there are lots of lovable pit bulls. I’m not advocating putting down pit bulls.

    “They’re primarily bred for fighting. In 2016, we need to say we’re done breeding pit bulls. It’s primary purpose is to be a weapon. It’s doing what it’s supposed to do.”

    “They’re primarily bred for fighting. In 2016, we need to say we’re done breeding pit bulls. It’s primary purpose is to be a weapon. It’s doing what it’s supposed to do.”

    Despite insistence by many pit bull owners that their dogs never would bite, the breed often surprises them. Too often.

    • e small

      Its playing pit bull roulette.

  • do it seriously

    I guess Yale doesn’t want to post any “uncomfortable ” comments…

  • momofthree

    There is something REALLY wrong with our current laws if someone can INVITE someone to their residence, the homeowner’s pets then kill the guest and there are no charges. If someone wanted to get away with murder, they could just head to the local shelter and pick up a few bully breeds I guess. Sheesh.

    • e small

      Pit bulls kill a person every 13 days. They maul hundreds of people, and kill 66 dogs per day. Its a national problem we need to address.

  • Nancy Morris

    Three bags is more than what one generally associates with personal cocaine use. Savage animals such as licensed guard dogs are often maintained by drug dealers as protection, with the actual exchange of drug and money occurring in the presence of the animals.

    I am not insinuating that I have any particular knowledge of this horrible incident or the individuals involved, but I have yet to see any explanation of why Hicks and Winfrey were in the dogs’ enclosure at the time of the attack. Indeed, I have not seen any report that these dogs were not generally thought to be dangerous. “The dogs attacked Winfrey after she entered the fenced-in yard of Hicks’ home in the early evening.” Okay, but why was she there? That the dogs were licensed and vaccinated certainly does not alone indicate anyone thought they were benign.

  • Mary

    Brian Wingate.We can help you deal with the memories and flashbacks. NationalPitBullVictimAwareness. org
    They helped me so much after my attack when I had violent nightmares and fears.

  • Mary

    American bull dogs ARE pit breed dogs.

  • e small

    There are more than 25 media reports of pit bull attacks on people per week, and one death every 13 days.

    In addition to attacks on people, pit bulls killed 24,000 other dogs and 13,000 cats in the US in 2015, or 66 dogs per day.
    From National Pit Bull Victim Awareness.

  • stratomartin

    That segments of our human population rationalize owning these peculiar animals is unsurprising, but consistent with other delusional behaviors, e.g., not saving money, eating unsafe food, doing drugs, texting while driving, using tobacco … the list is long.

    People can be radically negligent and always ready to loudly defend their delusion