Police: South Side man killed in pitbull attack at his home
BY MAUDLYNE IHEJIRIKA Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org August 15, 2012 11:18PM
Copy photo of Charles Hagerman, 44, who was mauled and killed by a pitbull. Thursday, August 16, 2012. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: September 18, 2012 6:13AM
The West Englewood family had owned Scrappy, their 3 1/2-year-old pit bull, from a pup. A year and a half ago, they took in a second pit bull, Scrappy’s son, Rocco.
The family said the dogs were familiar with all three members of the household — Charlotte Williams; her son, Daryl Williams; and her husband, Charles Hagerman.
So what happened on Wednesday — when Hagerman, 44, was mauled to death by Scrappy in the family’s first-floor apartment at 5600 S. Racine — has left the family reeling.
“Nobody knows,” Daryl Williams said of the how and why of the incident he says has traumatized his mother, leaving her inconsolable, unable to sleep.
Police said the man was fatally attacked in the apartment by at least one of the pitbulls. The man’s wife found him unresponsive near the two dogs at about 8:15 p.m., with injuries to his neck, police said.
City Animal Care and Control personnel removed the dogs from the home, officials said.
Their landlord, Muhammad Alameen, said the family moved in across from him months ago.
Alameen arrived home about 8:50 p.m. Wednesday to find police everywhere.
“They wouldn’t let me into my building. An officer told me the dog took all this off,” said the landlord, running his hand over the entire right side of his face.
He said police had to shoot the dogs, removing the door from Alameen’s apartment to make sure no one was inside to get injured if bullets ricocheted.
“His wife was sitting there in shock, just staring off into space. She said, ‘The dog killed my husband.’”
Many in the neighborhood were stunned.
“It’s pretty shocking,” said Melanie Davis, an attorney with a law firm next door. “We would see the son walking the dog all the time. Those pit bulls! This is so unfortunate.”
But family members maintained there had never been even an inkling of a problem. Daryl Williams speculated his stepfather, who was prone to seizures, may have had an episode, scaring the dogs.
He said he and his mother left around 7:30 p.m., returning by 8 p.m.
He entered the home first, saw the carnage, and quickly covered the body from his mother.
“We always leave him at home with the dogs. Nothing ever happened,” Daryl Williams said.
“He fed and cleaned the dogs. The dogs slept at the foot of their bed. The smaller one was friendly, a threat to nobody. Scrappy was territorial, but fine around people. He played with my nieces and nephews. We can’t figure this out. My mom can’t stop crying.”
An autopsy to determine the official cause of the man’s death is scheduled for Thursday.