HAMLET — Every morning at 5:30, the man who lived at 308 W. Hamlet Ave. would take his five dogs for a walk: First, one pair. Then another. Then, by itself, his energetic black-and-white pit bull.
Early Saturday afternoon, the pit bull and one other dog apparently killed him as a 9-year-old neighbor stood nearby, frantically throwing bricks at the dogs before jumping over the fence into his own yard.
“I threw bricks at the dogs to try and get them off of him,” Kanorie Parnell said. “Only they wouldn’t get off of him.
“They bit his neck. He’s got a hole in it.”
Hamlet Police and Richmond County sheriff’s deputites responded. By 1 p.m., about 10 official cars lined the street, including an ambulance, an animal-control vehicle, a Hamlet Fire Department pickup equipped with winches, and several cruisers with flashing blue lights and idling motors.
Officers had corralled the pit bull by 1:15 p.m., using a lasso and bar to keep the animal from biting them. Locked into the bed of a windowless box on a pickup bed, the animal occasionally thrashed against the sides.
It took rather longer to capture the second dog. At one time, officers thought about closing off the street, “in case we need to use force on the dog,” Hamlet Police Chief Scott Waters said as he left the scene. Asked whether “use force” meant shoot the dog, Patrol Capt. Marc Terry said yes.
At about 2, officers brought out the body of the deceased — which, until that point, had been lying under a sheet in the backyard until it was safe to move. Hamlet Police could provide no name because the man’s next of kin had not been notified by midafternoon.
Slightly after 2 p.m., Capt. Terry said the standoff with the second dog could take quite some time. (This story will be updated on Monday.)
By 3:30 p.m., Water said all dogs had been taken to the Richmond County Animal Shelter.
In the meantime, the family next door — at 306 — kept watch from their front stoop. Kanorie’s mother, April, said her family and the neighbor had been close. He would escort her children to the bus stop. Kanorie, in fact, was visiting the neighbor when the attack occurred.
April Parnell said that two of the dogs — Little J and RJ — had been fighting earlier. Her neighbor — who she said was a small man of 69 — broke up the dogfight, inserting himself between the animals and throwing punches to separate them.
Later in the day, the same two dogs attacked the neighbor.
“The dogs were probably retaliating,” she said.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.