Bulah Shaef pit bull attack: Sarah Guerrant discusses witnessing horrible event

CINCINNATI – For Sarah Guerrant it was like being in a horror movie.

“I was like screaming. It was really close to my car. It was hard to get out. They would, like, bite her and go back and bite her again. They were just roaming.”

That was the scene Guerrant described as she watched two pit bulls maul 73-year-old Bulah Shaef in the 1800 block of Sunnybrook Drive in Roselawn Saturday. Guerrant, trapped in her car, did all she could do without endangering herself in the process. She called 911.

“Her clothes were off of her. Her jacket, everything, they were tearing into her,” she said.

On Saturday, Sgt. Dan McShane with the Cincinnati Police Department said Shaef was walking on the sidewalk outside her home when the dogs charged through the front door of a house and took her down. After stopping for a few moments, the pit bulls continued their attack when the woman tried to stand up and get away.

"It appears as if the animals acquired her, attacked her at one location, let go and then attacked her again at a second location, then possibly a third," McShane said

Even the pit bulls’ owner, Sylvester Forte, tried to physically restrain the dogs with no luck. They bit and clawed him as well.

In the end, Cincinnati police arrived and shot one of the dogs dead on the scene. The other was taken away to the SPCA. Bulah Shaef was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where she was still listed in serious condition on Monday, fighting for her life.

“There was nobody outside,” Guerrant said. “If I hadn't gotten there when I got there, and called police it's possible the dogs would've killed her. It was that bad. They would've killed.”

Johnathan Palmore has lived on Sunnybrook Drive for about four years. He says he has never seen the pit bulls get loose.

"(The dogs are) usually out barking at everybody. I've never seen them get loose... I'm shocked they got out," he said.

Police have not charged the owner of the dogs. The fate of the one pit bull left alive was unsure Monday evening.

Pit bulls were once considered a vicious dog breed and banned in Cincinnati's city limits. That changed in 2012 when City Council approved a motion that removed them from the language of the ordinance that defines a vicious dog. 

WCPO reporters Casey Weldon and Amy Wadas contributed to this report.

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