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.