Richard “Hutch” Barry had just set out for a walk in Selma, Calif., Sunday afternoon, when the unthinkable happened: a pack of five English Bulldogs from a nearby house attacked and killed the 59-year-old man.
Teresa Barry and her husband Ronny Barry, who is Hutch’s brother, were driving home at about 1 p.m. on Sunday when they saw the attack.
“He’s just screaming, ‘Help me! Help me!'” Teresa, who tried in vain to get her brother-in-law away from the dogs, told KSEE/KGPE.
“These dogs are all over him, they’re just biting, biting,” Teresa told KSEE/KGPE.
“It was a real nightmare,” she told Fox26 News. “You could see the terror on his face.”
Jumping out of the car, Teresa grabbed a bat from a neighbor and tried to separate the pack of dogs.
“I ended up on the ground, three of them came straight at my face,” she told KSEE/KGPE.
Officers who arrived on the scene at Goldridge and Balboa streets administered first aid to Hutch until EMTs got there, the Selma Police Department said in a statement.
The officers worked with an Animal Control Officer to capture the dogs, who were put in quarantine and tested for rabies.
“During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the dogs escaped from a nearby residence and attacked the victim as he was walking through the neighborhood,” the department said in the statement.
Teresa sustained a cut and some bruises in the attack.
“We have no idea why they crossed the street and went three houses down to attack him,” Teresa told Fox26 News.
Hutch’s brother, who can’t walk because he has ALS, told Action News he’s “heartbroken” that he wasn’t able to help save his brother.
“If cops didn’t show up at that moment, I might have been in the same situation as Hutch, because they were just gung ho focused on harming,” Teresa told Action News.
Police continue to investigate. It is unclear whether the dog’s owners will be charged.
The dogs’ owner is cooperating with investigators, the department said in the statement.
In the meantime, Hutch’s friends and family are mourning his loss.
“My grandchildren just think he’s the coolest uncle ever,” Teresa told Fox 26 News, adding that Hutch visited his brother every day after he was diagnosed with ALS.
On the Gofundme page Debra Goff set up to help defray funeral costs, she wrote, “This is a devastating loss for the family. Any financial help towards the funeral/ medical cost is appreciated.”