A man was walking his small dog outside the Canopy Walk condos Feb. 19 when a large, off-leash dog charged and killed the small dog, and mauled and injured the man. The man's wife had an anxiety attack after the mauling, and also had to be hospitalized.
James Bennett, 79 and a Canopy Walk resident, was walking his 7-year-old Yorkshire terrier, Gidget, on Canopy Walk Lane at about 9 a.m. when the attack happened, according to a Flagler County Sheriff's Office report.
A couple that had been walking two dogs in the condo's parking lot lost control of one — a 2-year-old Labrador-pit bull mix named Wilson — when the dog "broke his leash" and "began running around and working himself up as he usually does," according to a deputy's summary of a statement from the wife, Helena Karnani, 58.
Karnani's husband, Neel, 60, tried to capture the big dog, but couldn't: Wilson was too large and too fast. Then Wilson noticed Bennett and Gidget on the sidewalk, and charged.
Bennett saw the charging dog and picked up Gidget in his right arm to protect her, but Wilson leaped and bit both the man and the Yorkie, biting Bennett on his arm and Gidget on the back.
Bennett tried to fight off the dog with his left arm, but Wilson lunged at him — four times, Bennett later told a deputy — knocking him to the ground "due to his size and aggression," according to the deputy's report.
Bennett lost his grip on Gidget as he fell, and the little dog tried to run away, but Wilson caught her and mauled her.
Neel Karnani finally got hold of his dog. By the time Sheriff's Office deputies arrived, Gidget was dead from "numerous lacerations" and puncture wounds to her face and back, and Bennett had injuries to his right arm that medical staff at Florida Hospital Flagler said would require numerous stitches, and an X-ray to check for further injuries.
A witness in the parking lot confirmed to a deputy what had happened.
While deputies investigated the attack, Bennett's wife, Sandra Bennett, 72, had an anxiety attack and passed out. She came to, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
Neel Karnani surrendered Wilson to the Flagler Humane Society to be euthanized.