‘Surreal’ pit bull attack sends two Vanier men to hospital


Bruce McConville says he is ‘very disappointed’ after police told him they were unable to remove the dog

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Bruce McConville is sore and scratched “with a few extra holes in me, but otherwise I’m fine,” after he was viciously attacked by a pit bull outside a Vanier senior center on Saturday night.

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McConville, 59, lives in the neighborhood and works at the Center Pauline-Charron, where he helped organize a Saturday night dance party for seniors at the Francophone community center.

Another man, Robert Pagé, came out at around 10:30 p.m., where he saw two people – apparently the dog’s guardians – outside in the street in a heated verbal argument. The dog lives in a house on Cyr Avenue, he said, directly across from the senior center.

“As Robert passed by, the dog attacked him. He got wild and rushed at him. He feared for his life and he suffered serious bite wounds to his wrists and legs,” McConville said Sunday afternoon. “I watched him do his stitches this morning.”

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The man staggered back into the senior center, dizzy and bleeding, where McConville quickly dressed his horrific wounds.

“It scared the seniors,” McConville said.

Police confirmed they were called to an address on Cyr Avenue on Saturday evening, but had no information available on Sunday about the call.

McConville said he assumed the dog was under control once police arrived, with three officers stationed on the porch.

A close-up shows the bite on Robert Pagé's left arm, where you can see the outline of the dog's teeth.
A close-up shows the bite on Robert Pagé’s left arm, where you can see the outline of the dog’s teeth. Photo provided

He began escorting the elderly to their cars, one by one, when the dog attacked again.

“One of the ladies was standing outside and suddenly I heard the dog bark and saw him jump over the railing of the property (on Cyr Street). He jumped up and headed towards the lady standing in front, galloping straight towards her,” McConville said.

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“I lifted him up, chased the dog and was able to deflect him – gave him a good quick kick – and that drew the dog’s attention to me.”

The woman ran safely inside the senior center but, McConville said, “I was stuck with the dog between me and the building.

“He jumped up several times and I was able to kick him, but every time he passed by me he would bite me or bite me a little bit. I ended up fighting on the ground and I rolled over – he was trying to put his jaws on my throat – and it continued until the police could intervene.

McConville recalled seeing about five officers at the time, and one fired a Taser, “which seemed to have no effect,” he said.

The dog simply ran inside the house, he said.

The dog is known in the neighborhood as “very rough and intimidating,” McConville said. “But last night’s adventure was totally unexpected.

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“It was surreal when you’re in a situation where you’re fighting for your life.”

Paramedics arrived after the second attack and treated McConville at the scene. McConville had treated Pagé inside the center following the first attack, after which he went to Montfort Hospital.

McConville joined him there after a quick ambulance ride, was admitted around midnight and spent the night in hospital before being stitched up and released on Sunday morning.

He is still in pain, but even more so, he is disappointed with the lack of assurances he has received from the authorities following this “frightening” incident.

“When the second attack happened and they brought the dog home, I was told that the owner of the dog was not present on the property, that he was not available and that the dog is unregistered,” McConville said. “I was told it was up to the guards to comply with all orders.

“So due to some bureaucratic protocols, I was told (authorities) were unable to remove the dog,” he said.

“This dog is allowed to roam freely, and he is quite vicious and intimidating. So to hear that law enforcement is unable to keep people safe by restraining this dog is very disappointing. .

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