Ann Infranca said she was never much of a dog person, even despite living with several canine pals throughout her decades in Bayside, but after a close encounter unlike any she had experienced before last week, the 85-year-old has more reason to move away whenever a dog is near.
On Sept. 19 around 1 p.m., Infranca was walking alone to a friend’s house in Little Bay Park toward Fort Totten, where she once lived, when she suddenly found herself under attack. She noticed a large, cream-colored pit bull standing near its owner before the dog started charging toward her.
Before she could realize what was happening, the pit bull had run into her, biting her arm and nearly knocking her over, Infranca said.
“There was saliva all over me,” she said. “I took my arm out of my sleeve and then I saw blood.”
After the sudden attack, Infranca said she saw a woman pull the dog away by its leash and begin walking away. By the time she noticed the blood on her arm, Infranca said the dog’s owner had yelled over, “Are you okay?”
Infranca said she did not get a chance to respond before the owner was out of sight, unaware of whether she had been injured and without even exchanging names.
“There was no one around to help me,” Infranca said. “It all happened so fast.”
Infranca’s daughter, Freda Sbordoni, said she grew up near Little Bay Park and her mother frequently strolled through the area as many as three times a week.
“She calls it ‘her park,’” Sbordoni said. “Now I have to worry about her walking around alone.”
Infranca filed a police report about the incident and made an immediate visit to her doctor, who then administered a tetanus shot and prescribed antibiotic pills for her. Days later, she was still sporting a marble-sized puncture wound below a large red spot on her right arm.
Little Bay Park currently sports its own dog run area for residents so they can take their canines to a safe haven, but according to Infranca that area is rarely used and her attack last week was a direct result of dog owners not being cautious enough with their pets.
“The dog run is hardly ever used,” Infranca said. “The dog owners should really spend more time in there.”
Since the incident, Infranca said she still goes on walks through the park to enjoy the Bayside she has lived in with her family for more than 30 years.
But during a walk in Crocheron Park over the weekend, she said she noticed a large dog quietly resting beside its owner and thought twice about her route.
“I had to take another way,” Infranca said. “I won’t let that happen again.”
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.