PE man, 27, killed in savage dog attack
Resident who rushed to help victim also attacked in 40-minute frenzy
A horrific 40-minute mauling by two pitbulls left one man dead and another seriously injured in Port Elizabeth late on Monday night.
Algoa Park resident Ruan Redgard, 27, whose clothing was ripped off his body during the savage attack, died shortly after being dragged into a nearby garden by other residents when the dogs were eventually scared off by a security vehicle.
The residents had tried desperately to pry the pitbulls off using a stun gun, sticks, boiling water and by ramming the dogs with their vehicles, but they would not let go.
David Wilken, 53, who shared a property with Redgard, ran outside to help when he heard screams – but the dogs turned on him.
Redgard had been walking back to his Magnolia Street home shortly after 10pm when the dogs went for him, unprovoked, according to witnesses.
His sister, Chantelle, said she had been woken up on Monday night by someone who told her she should “come quick because my brother was dead”.
“I was told the dogs came over a wall and started attacking my brother.
“When I got to the scene, he didn’t have a piece of clothing on.
“It broke me to see him lying there naked and dead. I am still in a daze,” Chantelle said.
“He had just bought a new Nokia cellphone and had sent me a message earlier in the day.”
Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said an inquest docket had been opened.
“At this stage, it is unclear how the dogs got out the yard. Police at the scene identified the two dogs and put them down.”
Janse van Rensburg said the owners of the dogs lived in Whyteleaf Drive.
“Our investigations will determine what will happen to the owner of the dogs.
“We will be working with prosecutors on this matter.”
Health Department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said: “It is suspected that the dogs were unrestrained and not fenced in.
“According to a security response company on the scene, the victims could not be attended to for about 10 minutes because the dogs would not let go.”
He said Wilken sustained multiple serious bites and was taken to Livingstone Hospital.
The owners, whose names are not known at this stage, were not at home yesterday.
When one was contacted on her cellphone, she said: “Can you call me back later. I am busy driving.”
However, when she was called again she did not answer the call or respond to WhatsApp messages sent later.
Sandra Frans, who owns the property where Redgard lived, said he had left the house at about 10pm for a nearby shop.
“We heard someone screaming and went outside to look but didn’t know it was [Redgard] being attacked by a dog,” she said.
“Everyone tried to get the dogs away, people were throwing boiling water on them and hitting them with sticks, but nothing helped.”
Phillip Niemand, who also lives on the Magnolia Street property, said people had been too afraid to get too close to the dogs at first. “We tried everything but we didn’t go too close because they might attack. The dogs were vicious,” Niemand said.
The attack happened near to where Redgard lived.
Gavin Claassen, who lives in Magnolia Street, was outside when he heard someone screaming for help.
“I rushed to the front garden and saw the pitbulls attacking [Redgard] in the street next to our house.
“We tried everything to get them away from him.
“People even used bakkies to try and ram the dogs. We used a stun gun on one of them but that didn’t even seem to help.”
Claassen said Redgard had jumped over a wall to try to get away from the dogs but they followed him.
When he leapt back over the wall into the street the attack intensified.
Claassen said he had seen the dogs in the area before but it was the first time he had witnessed such an attack.
“We eventually pulled [Redgard and Wilken] into our garden to protect them from the dogs because we have high walls.”
He said an ADT security crew managed to scare the dogs off.
“We didn’t know if the dogs would come back, but by the time the police and ambulance arrived [Redgard] had died,” he said.
Another resident, Philip Hill, said his wife woke him up after hearing a commotion outside.
“People were trying to get the dogs away from the man they were attacking.
“I grabbed a piece of wood but I felt helpless and couldn’t do anything. It was horrible, like a horror movie.”
Unable to sleep after witnessing the attack, Hill put up a makeshift cross and placed sunflowers at the scene, which was still covered in blood and human tissue, along with shredded clothing.
“I stood there and looked at the scene and thought I had to do something to show respect,” Hill said sadly.