WOONSOCKET – A pit bull dog came to the defense of his owner after he was seriously injured by a man who attacked him with a golf club Monday, police said.
The dog was in the yard when Matthew Jones allegedly bashed two people, Josef Tallo, 27, and Fatima DaSilva, 25, in the head with the club outside their 216 Grove St. apartment shortly after 7 p.m.
Jones, 38, who had been partying at a house next door, was bitten on the calf, hand and chin by the dog, according to Detective Jamie Paone.
All three of the individuals involved in the clash were hospitalized, but the most gravely wounded was Tallo, said Paone. He has been admitted to Rhode Island Hospital, where doctors told police he may be paralyzed.
“It’s a possibility,” said Paone. “That’s what we were told when we checked on him last night.”
DaSilva and Jones were both transported to Landmark Medical Center and released after treatment. Jones was later charged with two counts of felony assault and one count of domestic disorderly conduct.
The police said they were still piecing together details of the bizarre melee, but Paone provided the following account:
Jones, who provided police with a Boston address, appears to have been residing with his girlfriend at 212 Grove St., a multifamily next door to DaSilva’s and Tallo’s apartment.
Shortly before the attack, an argument erupted during a party at the apartment Jones shares with his girlfriend. Two guests – neither of whom was Jones or his girlfriend – left the party and went next door to tell Tallo and DaSilva about the argument.
What started the argument or why two guests felt compelled to inform their neighbors about it is unknown, according to Paone. But it’s clear, she said, that the reason wasn’t to ask for help or call the police.
“It sounds like they were kind of mutual friends,” said Paone, adding that Jones was also an acquaintance of the victims.
At some point, Tallo and DaSilva came outside and were confronted by Jones, who attacked them with the golf club. “One strike to the head for each of them,” said Paone. She said there’s nothing in police reports to suggest that Tallo or DaSilva did anything to provoke the attack.
After the assault, the pit bull went after Jones, apparently bringing him to the ground and biting him about the legs, hand and chin.
The dog was temporarily impounded but has since been released to DaSilva, Paone said. The animal is under a 10-day quarantine order, a standard precaution whenever a dog bites as authorities monitor the animal for rabies.