BARSTOW A Barstow woman is being called a hero after coming to the aid of a woman horribly mauled in a dog attack Monday evening.

Police received a report of an dog problem at the 1700 block of Riverside Drive at 5 p.m. Monday and found a 52-year-old woman with life-threatening injuries to her arms, chest, and face, said Barstow Police Sgt. Andy Espinoza Sr.

Riverside Drive resident Laura Hamilton said she was checking her roadside mailbox Monday when she saw the attack down the street and went into action.

"I saw the dogs attacking something," said Hamilton. "You could tell it was a person, I saw the body going up and down and hair flying around ... my only thought was to get those dogs off."

Hamilton jumped in a pickup truck and drove the short distance down the street, blowing the truck's horn to scare the dogs off. Despite massive injuries, the victim hopped in the cab of the truck, and Hamilton drove home where the dogs followed, trapping the women in the truck for a short time.

"The neighbors had to chase (the dogs) off with sticks," said Hamilton.

Hamilton was eventually able to escort the victim into her home, where she collapsed.

The victim was airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and was reported to be in stable condition Tuesday. Police are not releasing the victim's name because they have not talked to her yet and don't know if she wishes to be identified.

Barstow Police Det. Ronan Colleoc called Hamilton a hero for her actions on Monday.

"(Hamilton) saved the victim's life," said Colleoc. "She got personally involved and risked injury to help. That's something you don't see often these days."

Upon arrival of police the dogs described by police as a Rottweiler and a Rottweiler-pit bull mix turned on officers, who fired shots, killing one dog and injuring another dog that ran into the desert. Espinoza said neighbors of the dogs' owners told police they called the Humane Society on several prior occasions and that there is an open case regarding the dogs. The Barstow Humane society did not immediately return phone messages.

Espinoza said police have identified the dogs' owner and are still investigating the case. No arrests have been made and police are waiting to interview the victim after she recovers from surgery.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4126 or adome@desertdispatch.com