ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - A deadly dog attack in a northwest neighborhood could have been a lot worse had it not been for an alert dad and his baseball bat.
Ben C de Baca was in his driveway when he saw a Chihuahua being run down by a pit bull and then heard a scream. He says that pit bull was attacking a woman and her small dog, and he knew had to do something.
"I just heard that lady she was screaming, 'Help me! Help me!'" said C de Baca.
In an interview with KRQE News 13 Wednesday, C de Baca retraced his steps while recounting what he saw Tuesday evening along the side of his neighbor's house.
"When I got here, she was laying on her back with the pit bull over her," said C de Baca. "The pit bull had her hand and the dog, and it was just shaking her."
The incident happened just before 7 p.m. in a neighborhood near Unser and McMahon in northwest Albuquerque.
From his garage, C de Baca saw a pit bull running down a Chihuahua in the middle of the residential street. As the dogs ran around the corner of a home a few doors down, C de Baca says he heard a woman screaming for help.
"I just knew it was huge dog and I wasn't going empty handed," said C de Baca.
Using his son's aluminum little league baseball bat, C de Baca says he ran toward the commotion. He found the pit bull had the Chihuahua in its mouth and was also standing on top of a woman who owned the Chihuahua. He says that woman's hand was caught in the pit bull's mouth.
That's when he swung his bat at the dog.
"The first time I hit it, it didn't even phase it," said C de Baca. "So, I hit it twice. The second time I hit, I put my everything in to it and that's what got the dog finally."
As the dog ran off, C de Baca says neighbors called 911. C de Baca says the Chihuahua was killed and its owner appeared to have been bitten in the hand.
The pit bull was eventually caught and taken by City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare officers.
"You know, usually my little girl plays out here, I'm glad that she was not here when that dog was running around because it could have got her," said C de Baca.
While the experience has left C de Baca thinking of his family, he's also thinking of his neighbor.
"She was covered in blood," said C de Baca. "Guaranteed, if I wouldn't have got there, she would have been next."
A spokeswoman for the city's Animal Welfare department told KRQE News 13 Wednesday that it will likely cite the pit bull's owner with having a "potentially dangerous dog." The agency says it's still investigating.
The city also told KRQE News 13 that since both dogs were running loose when the attack happened, the pit bull's owner won't be automatically forced to euthanize or give up his dog.