A 76-year-old resident of San Diego died on Christmas Eve after a six-month battle with injuries resulting from a pit bull attack. Emako Mendoza was attacked in June by pit bulls owned by her neighbors, Alba Medina Cornelio and Carla Ramirez Cornelio.
Emako Mendoza was bitten at her home the morning of June 18 as she went outside to get a newspaper. Following the incident she suffered a heart attack, and her left arm and leg had to be amputated.
In the months that followed, Mendoza underwent eight surgeries. Less than three weeks ago, her right leg was also amputated because of infection within the bone.
After months of attempted rehabilitation, Mendoza’s heart stopped the day before Christmas. Her husband of 54 years, James, said Mendoza had been through a terrible ordeal.
“You wouldn’t imagine something like that would happen in your own private backyard,” he said. “She thought she was safe.” NBC San Diego, 27 Dec 2011.
Alba and Carla Cornelio were both arrested and charged with owning an animal that caused serious injury. The dogs, along with a young puppy owned by the Cornelios’, were euthanized after the attacks.
Prosecutors may add charges after the death of Mrs. Mendoza.