Man attacked by dog describes what happened before officer shot it

Andrew Marko says he was bitten 40 times

CINCINNATI – A Clifton Heights man says he got 40 bites from a dog attack that also saw a woman injured when a police officer fired a shotgun and killed it.

Cincinnati police say they are investigating this as an officer-involved shooting since one shotgun pellet hit the woman in the leg, according to police.

Andrew Marko told WCPO he was “shocked” the dog, named Sparky, attacked him because it was owned by a friend and had never bothered him.

“I was like, ‘Why are you biting me? I fed you. I walked you,’” said Marko, whose arms were heavily bandaged from his wrists to his elbows.

“It was a relatively pleasant dog for almost a year.”

Marko said the dog’s owner got upset when they got into an argument over finances. Marko guessed that might have set off the dog.

"(She) was arguing about finances and things like that. Got very ratcheted up. The dog didn't like that,” Marko said. “I don't know why, I guess it was protecting her. He's with her the most. It just started holding on to my arms."

The attack happened about 9 p.m. Friday on Graham Street in the CUF neighborhood. Marko said he yelled for help and a woman called 911.

When officers arrived, the dog started to run at one of them, police said. That officer fired one round from a shotgun. The injured woman is expected to be OK, but police are conducting official investigations.  

Marko said the bites were “painful” and some were "really deep." Marko said the dog had never bothered anyone since he’s lived there, as far as he knows.

“It’s been like eight months. No issues. Sometimes it would bark at neighbors. That’s what dogs should do, isn’t it?” Marko said.  

A former letter carrier, Marko said he also knows it could have been worse.

“I didn’t fear for my life. At the time I wasn’t thinking that much. Hindsight, I imagine it could’ve been totally life threatening. I know I lost a good deal of blood,” he said.

He was in the emergency room for eight hours, Marko said.

"In the bigger picture of things. I do worry about people that have, especially in a densely populated area like this, dogs that could really inflict a lot of damage,” Marko said. “I know some of it's the whole tough-guy persona, whatever. But darn, that dog flipped.

"That is scary."

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