Man Shoots Pit Bulls That Attacked Horse, Rider

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A man shot at two pit bulls, killing one, as the dogs were attacking a woman and the horse she was riding. Janet Kwak reports from San Dimas for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013.

    A 24-year-old man shot at two pit bulls, killing one, as the dogs attacked a woman and her horse on a San Dimas equestrian trail on Saturday, police said.

    The equestrian, identified as Yvette Picconi, 47, was riding her horse, Mecca, on a trail near the San Dimas Equestrian Center when dogs got loose from either a residence or a pit bull dog rescue facility, officials said.

    Picconi suffered minor scrapes in the attack that happened near Foothill Boulevard and Walnut Avenue just before 9 a.m., officials said. The woman's horse suffered a 10-inch gash on its leg.

    “She's distraught, horribly distraught,” said Shelley Kresan of her friend Picconi. “After the first bite, the horse tried to run off. And the horse collapsed with my friend still on the back of the horse ...”

    Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies said a neighbor who saw the attack tried to fight the dogs off using a flashlight. The man called for help when one of the dogs latched onto the horse and locked down on its leg.

    A relative of that person, identified as John Eichler, 24, of San Dimas, used a rifle to shoot the dog, killing it, said Lt. David Vega, of the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

    “They had to shoot him several times to get him to stop,” Vega said, adding that no arrests were made.

    Kresan said she believes the man’s quick action saved her friend’s life.

    “It could've been a lot worse,” Kresan said.

    Officials said the other dog was taken by animal control officers, who will decide whether to cite or charge the dogs’ owners. The dogs may have come from a yard of a residence or a pit bull rescue, officials said.