Daytona, Florida

From the Daytona Beach News-Journal of June 26, 2007

Woman shoots at charging pit bull

Memories of an Easter Sunday pit bull attack four years ago came rushing back to Christine Bruce on Monday night as a pit bull charged toward her while she was jogging with her dogs.

Unlike four years ago, this time she was ready.

She pulled out her .38-caliber handgun and fired a shot at the charging pit bull as she was screaming at it to stop, she said Tuesday in a telephone interview.

The attack four years ago — a pit bull ripped open part of a body cast on her right arm while she was recovering from spinal surgery — prompted Bruce to start carrying the gun for self-defense, she said.

Bruce said she normally walks and runs every day with her two labs and a German shepherd.

According to a Volusia County sheriff’s report, Bruce, 44, was jogging with her dogs at 8:13 p.m. when she saw Ricky Charles Ward standing in front of his house at 1435 Gainesville Drive with a white pit bull on a leash. She said Ward started exciting the dog and when she asked him to stop, he let the dog go and told it to attack her.

“The dog was inside the house barking and then (Ward) opens the door and comes out with the pit bull on a leash,” Bruce said. “I kept running to get away but then I looked back and he let go the leash and the dog.”

Afraid for her and her dogs, Bruce retrieved the handgun from her bag and fired at the charging pit bull. She missed the dog but the sound of the gunshot scared it away, the report states.

Bruce has a concealed weapon’s permit, sheriff’s spokesman Brandon Haught said. The case has been turned over to Deltona Animal Control for review, Haught said.

Ward, 47, was issued a warning by a city Animal Control officer to keep his dog under control, city spokesman Lee Lopez said. Ward could not be reached Tuesday.

Stricter action could not be taken because “there is not a history with this dog at that address,” Lopez said.

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