The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

July 6, 2013

Attack victim faces more surgery; dog still at large

By Katie Dahlstrom
Assistant Editor

---- — CLINTON —The Clinton man who was attacked by pit bulls was released from the hospital Friday while one of the dogs that attacked him remains at large.  

Benjamin Nave, 31, 716 S. Sixth St., was attacked Tuesday evening in the 200 block of 16th Place by two large pit bulls. One of the dogs was shot and killed by officers Tuesday night, but the other, which also was shot, has not been captured by police.  

Clinton police have identified the dog owners, but the incident remains under investigation and no citations have been issued, according to Clinton Police Captain Tom Bohle.  

Nave was walking from a friend's house to Hy-Vee Tuesday night when he was attacked. 

That's when Kathy Boekeloo, 59, heard someone screaming for help. When her husband Dennis, 56, went outside their home in the 200 block of 16th Place he saw Nave laying in a pool of blood while one pit bull attacked and another circled and sporadically attacked. 

Dennis retrieved a small baseball bat and yelled to distract the dogs from Nave. They charged at Dennis long enough for Nave to stand up. Nave climbed the stairs to the Boekeloo's house and the dogs again attacked him, preventing the Boekeloos from getting him onto their porch.  

"I've never seen such lethal, vicious animals in my whole life," Kathy said. "These dogs faces and bodies were covered in blood and tissue. I didn't think he'd make it to the ER."  

The first officer at the scene that night had to shoot at the dogs to make them stop attacking Nave, Clinton police said.  

Once the dogs let go of Nave, the Boekeloos pulled them onto their porch where Kathy used two rubber gloves as a makeshift tourniquet on one of his arms to prevent Nave from losing any more blood. Kathy said there were pools of blood running from the street to their porch.  

Kathy, who has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years, said she could see the brachial artery, bone and tissue exposed on Nave's arm.

"His arm was dangling, it was just hanging there. The more blood it pumped, the whiter he got. I could see him fading, the terror in his face. I tried to do the best I could do for him because I was worried for his life."  

Nave was transported to Mercy Medical Center and later transferred to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. 

According to a family member, Nave has already had one surgery and suffered nerve damage in his right arm. The family member did not know the extent of the damage in Nave's left arm, but said he will need further surgeries because of his injuries.  

Both dogs fled the scene, with one located a short time later and killed by police. Officers were unable to locate the second dog.

Bohle advised anyone who sees the wounded pit bull to contact the Clinton Police Department at 243-1458. He also advised not to engage the dog in anyway.