COLUMBIA STATION, OH (WOIO) - A Lorain County man is badly injured, and his dog is dead after they were attacked by two other dogs at Columbia Reservation Metro Park.
Randal Tappan says he and his girlfriend were walking their two dogs last Thursday afternoon, when they saw two women walking a mastiff and a pit bull.
Tappan says he was immediately worried about the dogs, which he noticed were pulling away from their owners.
"We stepped off the pathway to allow them to go by, and as they got about halfway past us, they turned attacked," he said.
The attack lasted for nearly twenty minutes, Tappan tells us, as his girlfriend ran to get help and return with rangers. During that time, he was badly hurt. His hands, arms, and face received scratches and bites that left him bloody.
"Their owner was trying to control the dog, but she couldn't," he said. "It kept coming off the leash and just attacking and biting, and during the process, I had a heart attack."
He was taken to the hospital. His 8-year-old Australian Shepherd, Jake, was rushed to a veterinarian. The dog's injuries were too great for him to recover.
"It was devastating," said Tappan.
Now, Tappan says he wants to reach out to others with a message: be careful about what dogs you allow to walk the parks, and make sure you're in control of them. He says he doesn't want what happened to him happening to anyone else.
"I just think an awareness needs to be brought about, about these animals," he said. "If it's too much for them to handle, obviously it's too much to take to a park and expose them to the elements of other people."
Lorain County Metro Parks and the Lorain County Sheriff's Office are investigating.