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Pit bulls viciously attack 64-year-old Lawrenceville woman

LAWRENCEVILLE - An elderly woman was viciously attacked by two pit bulls Thursday morning in front of her home in Lawrenceville.

The 64-year-old victim was outside mowing her front yard when she said she saw the pit bulls. Though she had seen them around the neighborhood before, they had never before tried to attack her, said Darren Moloney, spokesman for Gwinnett County Police Department.

They sprang on her, causing several puncture wounds to her arm. She escaped and ran into her house in the Westchester Commons Subdivision. While she was calling 911, she noticed the pit bulls were still outside on her front yard, apparently waiting for her.

When they arrived on the scene, police officers conducted a search on foot for the pit bulls. The dogs attacked the officers after they stopped at a fence. The officers had no choice but to use their handguns on the pit bulls, Moloney said.

The dogs repeatedly retreated, then went back to attack the officers. They lunged at them three times. To try to stop them, the officers discharged eleven rounds on them.

One of the pit bulls had run away by the time Animal Control arrived. Members of the fire department, police department and Animal Control had to work togther to find it. They finally captured the dog by using a chemical on it.

Both dogs were immediately taken to the nearest animal hospital. One of the pit bulls was in such critical condition from the gunfire that it was immediately put down. After talking to the owner, 27-year-old Ken Brian Balajadia, they also put down his other dog.

Janet Chevalier, who lives on Paris Street, said she was unaware that pit bulls were running loose in the neighborhood until she learned of the attack.

"She was out mowing her grass and next thing I know there is all these police vehicles in the neighborhood," Chevalier said. "We walk by her house every night. From now on I'm carrying a stick."

The victim was taken to the Gwinnett Medical Center, where she was still being treated at press time Thursday.

Animal Control issued eight citations against Balajadia, including two counts each for unrestrained animals, no tags/identification, public nuisance/vicious and attacking without provocation.

Staff writer Andria Simmons contributed to this article.