Chicago and the surrounding suburbs have enough problems with two-legged predators as it is, but for one woman in the westside suburb of St. Charles, it was a pair of dogs that posed a threat to her life.
The 51-year old woman was out for a morning jog earlier this week when she spotted a Labradoodle manage to escape the electric fence confining her and dart out into the street. The woman, who’s apparently acquaintances with the dog’s owner, managed to snag its collar and walk over to the house to make sure the dog was safe. Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain says that’s when things went sideways, with two Rottweilers running out of the home as the owner tried to get the Labradoodle inside.
The dogs made a beeline for the jogger and started “using the woman like a chew toy,” according to the sheriff; biting her legs and her scalp.
“Something about the woman holding the dog by its collar and coming up their driveway was seen as some kind of aggression against the Labradoodle, and the two Rottweilers were acting protectively, we think,” he said.
The homeowner was trying to pull the dogs off the jogger when a man who has a license to carry a concealed weapon drove by, saw the commotion and got out of his vehicle to try to help pull the dogs off the jogger.
But the man didn’t have a gun with him, Hain said.
“So he called his father, who was maybe a block away, and asked him to get his gun and bring it to him, which he did. I believe he put it in his car and the man retrieved it,” Hain said.
All the while, the dogs continued to attack the woman.
“It went on for minutes, we don’t have an exact time frame. Once he had the weapon he shot the dog basically at point-blank range. He had to take appropriate action to save her life …,” Hain said. “And I believe he did.”
Thankfully the armed citizen’s dad was able to get there with a gun in time to save the woman. Of course, given that this is the Chicago suburbs that we’re talking about, the sheriff was asked by local reporters if the concealed carry holder actually put the woman’s life in danger by shooting one of the attacking dogs.
“That’s why he came back to point-blank range and why he fired through the side of the dog. If he had tried to shoot from a distance or into the dog’s head, that would’ve struck the woman, so he was very tactical about the way that he deployed his weapon,” Hain said.
The noise from the single gunshot caused both dogs to retreat and the dog who was shot died “a short time later,” according to Hain.
The sheriff says the second dog was voluntarily euthanized the next day, and the jogger is expected to fully recover from her injuries, though she was originally airlifted to a Chicago hospital with a trauma center that could better treat her injuries.
Local firearms instructor David Lombardo says he agrees with the sheriff’s decision not to charge the concealed carry holder, noting that the man was clearly acting to save the life of another.
“It’s a cut-and-dry case of self-defense; it’s just not the scenario people usually think of when getting a gun for protection. But as sad as it is to have to kill a dog, when the choice is between a human life and a dog’s life, the human wins,” Lombardo said. “He probably saved her life.”
The only thing the concealed carry holder did “wrong” that I can see was in not having his gun with him when he needed it. Certainly many of us (including myself) have thought “I’m just running out to do a quick errand. I’ll just leave my gun at home this time,” and have made it back home safe and sound without having to draw or discharge our gun in self-defense. This case is a reminder that you never really know what might happen once you step outside your door, and it’s much better to have your gun and not need it than to need it and not have it. A lot of things went right in order for the concealed carry holder to actually use his handgun to stop the dog attack on the jogger, and if he’d lived further away or his dad wasn’t at home this case could have had far more tragic consequences than it did.