It was an average Wednesday afternoon -- until around 6 p.m., when the dogs got loose.
The dogs were Kim Miller's two rottweilers -- both about two years old and weighing between 70 and 85 pounds each. They somehow unlatched a gate as she was putting out garbage, according to police, and raced around the corner from her home at 35 Edwards St. and attacked a 6-year-old child playing in the yard at 440 Shelton Ave.
The little girl's grandmother, Cynthia Reed, 47, look down from her second-floor apartment and saw the attack taking place, according to police. She rushed down to help the child and in the process became the victim herself.
Monique Jones lives in the apartment below Reed. She looked out her window and saw the dogs on the child.
"I ran out and yelled for her to come to me and thank God she did," Jones said. She scooped up the girl and pulled her into her apartment, slamming the door behind her.
The dog were atop the girl but hadn't injured her, Jones said. But once they saw Reed, it was a different story.
"They grabbed her by the neck and they grabbed her by the throat and they pushed her down the stairs," Jones said. Reed literally came tumbling down, she said, and the dogs dragged her into the street.
"It was awful," said Latrice Sanchez, 14, a Hamden Middle School student who lives across the street and witnessed the attack.
"They jumped on the back of her neck and knocked her down," she said, "and dragged her into the street like an alligator would."
That's when her father Curtis Wilkins spied what was going on.
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"My first thought was to go grab a bat," he said. He and another man, Kenneth Lewis, beat the dogs until they finally released Reed.
"They had her by the back of the neck," Wilkins said. "I knew I had to do something - I was in the right place at the right time and I knew I had to step up and do something."
And what he and Lewis did in all probability was save Reed's life, according to Hamden Police spokesman Capt. Ronald Smith.
"They did a fantastic job," he said, "and they're all heroes as far as I'm concerned."
Reed spent two days in the hospital and returned home Friday afternoon. She wasn't up to speaking to the media, Jones said, but wanted to thank everyone for the concern shown to her Wednesday.
"She wants to say thank you for everyone coming to help her and for her neighbors saving her life," Jones said. She underwent surgery while she was hospitalized, Jones said, and is now receiving at-home nursing services.
The dogs have been a problem for the past few weeks, Jones said. They had been loose and in the yard several times and had taken items such as soccer balls from it, she said.
"I tried to do the neighborly thing and go over there and talk to them but they wouldn't answer the door," she said. Miller, the dog's owner, came over to get them during the attack, and the dogs obeyed her command to come, Jones said.
"She told the dogs 'go home,' and they went with her," Jones said. "She never came back to see how [Reed] was."
Attempts to contact Miller Friday were unsuccessful. She was issued two infractions for allowing a dog to roam and four counts of animal nuisance, Smith said.
It will be up to Hamden Animal Control, the Town Attorney, the Police Department and the courts if the animals are euthanized, Smith said.
Both dogs are in police custody, one at the North Haven Animal Shelter, where Hamden leases space for its impounded dogs, and the other at the New Haven Central Hospital, where it is being treated for head injuries from the bat beating.