EXCLUSIVE: Survivor Of Pit Bull Attack Speaks With The B-Town Blog, Part 1

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Story and Photos by Mark Neuman

I sat down recently for an exclusive interview with one of the survivors of a beating and animal attack last summer in the SeaTac neighborhood.

The attack has made famous a Pit Bull named Snaps (read our previous coverage here), and resulted in a teenage girl being sentenced to over a year in jail.

To begin to understand what happened that June 21, a sunny Sunday evening, one must realize that Inga Isakson has been, informally, a rescuer of abused dogs for some time.

“In the past, I have offered to BUY dogs from people when it’s obvious they’ve been mistreating them,” Inga said over coffee in a Burien restaurant.

“I have rescued dogs for about ten years all by myself. I have taken many of the dogs to a halfway house in north Seattle where a kind and wonderful elderly gentleman takes care of them.

“June 21st was Father’s Day. It also happened to be the longest day of the year,” Inga said. “It was really hot and really light out. I was going to run my (two) dogs at around 6pm or so. I was in my car driving” southbound through the Sea-Tac area, north of the airport.

“I noticed movement to my right. All I could see were silhouettes behind a tree covered with ivy.”

The silhouettes, as it turned out, were those of a then 15-year old girl and three younger boys. The were kicking and beating a Pit Bull, about a year old.

“So I understood these kids were hiding. If I were an artist I would draw the silhouettes because the image is stuck in my mind,” Inga recollected. “These four silhouettes images were bent over. Eight fists and eight feet pounding and pummeling some living thing on the ground.

“And so I slowed down to get to the other side of the tree to see what was going on. I did not know if they were beating up a child or what.”

Inga pulled her car closer to the four young people.

"Snaps," the abused Pit Bull used in the attack last June.

“I realized it was a dog and I realized I needed to think fast. I did not want to seem to be challenging them. I knew they were doing something wrong.

“I rolled down the passenger side window about ten inches. The door was locked.

“I needed the dog to not be with them. I also knew there were four of them and one of me.

“I called out: ‘Are you kids okay?’ Really, I wanted to say something else. I did not want them to feel they were in a fight with me,” Inga told us. “The oldest, who was a young woman (fifteen years of age), came so close to my car window, she was in my space, that close.

“And it bothered me. I felt challenged, which I tried to avoid. I was trying to be nice.

“Her face was right in my window. She said ‘What do you want, bitch? This is none of your business. I can kill my dog if I want to.’

“She was screaming at me: ‘What are you, the cops?’

“‘I could be,’ I responded. ‘Would you like me to call them?’

“She reached in through my passenger window and unlocked my door. Oh boy!

“She just jumped in my car and grabbed me by my hair. Started ripping my hair out and screaming at me: ‘You bitch! You bitch! I wish you were dead!’

“I had my cell phone in my left hand. I extended my left arm away from her and tried to dial 9-1-1 with my left hand.

“She was yanking at me. My seat belt, which was still fastened, was kind of hanging me.

“But she saw the cell phone in my hand so she let go of my hair and grabbed the cell phone out of my hand.

“She had ripped a lot of the hair out of the right side of my head. She started hitting me on the right side of my head with my cell phone, while pulling my hair with her free hand.

“The attack  seemed to last two minutes. I was able to unfasten my seat belt and was able to elbow her with my right arm.”

Inga ran from her car and managed to get to middle of Des Moines Memorial Drive screaming “call 9-1-1! Call 9-1-1!” over and over.

Inga shows where Snaps bit her leg.

“I thought it (the attack) was over. Then she (the girl) ran around the back of my car and attacked me again.

“The girl kneed me. I put my hands up to cover my head.

“Meanwhile, my brain said there are cars stopped. Someone has GOT to help me!” Inga said.

“There were about seven cars, three or four stopped” in both the northbound and southbound lanes.

She estimated the attack in the street lasted seven minutes.

The people in the seven cars watched, apparently doing nothing to help her. This was in a residential area with houses set back from the road.

“I’ll never forget this one woman in a grey sedan, just her, no passengers in her car,” Inga recalled. “She was about in her mid-50’s with blondish or grey curly hair. She just sat there and watched and did nothing.

“She seemed embarrassed! Like a wimp! She could have honked her horn or driven slowly into the gang. She just sat there.

“I had my arms over my head to protect myself while the girl was hitting me on my head and I looked down to my left. And there was the dog, just looking up at me with his tongue hanging out, panting the way a dog does. It was like he had a smile on his face and he just wanted to play.

“The girl was yelling at me: ‘I wish you were dead!’

“The dog had a clear shot at my face. I thought ‘this dog could bite my face off.’

“Then one kid kicked the dog three times really hard until the dog bit me in the leg.

“I think the dog was just confused. He was just happy not to have all four beating on him.”

A red pick up truck appeared, driving along the shoulder. The driver got out.

Inga shows the scars from the attack in her left arm.

“A guy in his forties started yelling ‘The cops are here! The cops are here!’ He meant the cops were on their way, but that was enough to get the four kids running off along with the dog into a park.

“Then this wonderful lady drove up in a van, right at the time the kids ran away with the dog into the park,” Inga said.

“This lady (in the van) had such a look of conviction on her face. I saw that she was not going to let this happen. She was not going to let these kids get away.

“She took her van and drove it right across the park and into the woods. I didn’t see it, but she confronted the kids.

“She was not going to let them out of her sight. I was told later that this woman got out of her van. She said to the kids: ‘I won’t approach you, and don’t approach me. You’re not getting away with this.’”

Meanwhile the paramedics had arrived and were treating Inga. “I was kind of ‘shocky.’ My left arm was bleeding from the girl scratching me,” Inga said.

“I looked over, and here comes the woman (who had driven up in the van) walking towards us through the woods. She just kind of ‘appeared,’ and she was covered with blood.

Moments earlier, in the park, with the woman’s teenage daughter watching from inside the van, she, too, was attacked by the girl and the dog.

“I saw her and I said to the paramedics ‘Leave me! Go help her! I’m okay!

“That woman was my hero. That wonderful woman made the mistake of getting out of her van.

“She did the mother thing in the woods. She said ‘You kids stay right there.’ The girl jumped up and head butted her and broke her nose.

Inga: “I would do the same thing again. That group of kids could have killed somebody another time.”

“The kids all kicked and beat her and kicked the dog until he finally bit the woman’s arm bad, clear through to the bone.

“I called her later,” Inga said. “She has lots of family and support and wants to keep to herself. Her daughter was in the van and saw her mom beaten and attacked.

“I step up always,” Inga said. “I would do the same thing again. That group of kids could have killed somebody another time.”

Next: Inga speaks at the sentencing hearing and, later, corresponds with the girl.

"Snaps" now lives at the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks.

Read Part 2 of our exclusive interview with Inga here.

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5 Responses to “EXCLUSIVE: Survivor Of Pit Bull Attack Speaks With The B-Town Blog, Part 1”
  1. Jim Branson says:

    Inga, thank you for what you did, and for sharing your story.

  2. Jack says:

    Inga, please don’t change who you are because of this attack. The world needs more kindess and caring. Bless you as you heal.

  3. Vicky says:

    Thank you Inga for doing the right thing. Not only did you come to Snap’s rescue, you gave the juveniles a glimpse of a positive role model. Whether or not it registered and has long term affect is to be seen.

    SHAME on the bystanders that stood by and witnessed the assault and offered no assistance!!!!!

    Has our society become so desensitized to violence that it is OK to watch passively as someone is brutally assaulted by someone and attacked by a dog? I sincerely hope not.

    February 15-21 is Random Acts of Kindness Week. http://www.actsofkindness.org/kindness-days

    The fact that people need to be reminded to be kind is sad in itself. Nonetheless, it is my sincere wish that people do the right thing and are kind to one another, as well as the creatures that share our planet.

    Once again, thank you Inga. And thank you to the woman who anonymously stepped up.

  4. Carolyn says:

    People who abuse and torture animals are sociopaths and ultimately become a true danger to society – in so many ways.
    I want to say “Thank you Inga for bravely stepping up against the brutality you witnessed.” If more people were like Inga, and if more had joined her in solidarity against those violent children, there would be less to be afraid of in our world.
    Thanks also to the courageous woman and her daughter who did step in to help Inga. And also thanks to the man in the red pick up for stopping and taking action on Inga’s behalf.
    We need more people who know right from wrong to step up, speak up, take action and do the right thing when the opportunity becomes available to us. Fear, apathy, and ambivilence are the green lights for aberrant behavior. In situations like this, we are sometimes given a choice – and sometimes have the opportunity to do the right thing.
    Finally, thanks to the B-Town Blog for posting this story. Since I’ve found the B-Town Blog, I’ve felt closer to my neighborhood and am starting to feel familiar with my neighbors.

  5. Kim says:

    Wow, I am brought to tears. I am so glad that Inga and the other good samaritan are okay, and that the dog is in a safe, happy environment. I agree with Carolyn: more people need to step up and speak out when they see an injustice being committed.

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