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Homeless Man Sics Pitbull on Deputy, Sending Her To The Hospital, Police Say

Shoppers called 911 to complain about a group of homeless people and their dogs, who were allegedly bothering customers. 

By Gina Tron

A Florida sheriff's deputy had to be taken to a hospital on Monday after she was attacked by a homeless man’s dog.

Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy Annamaria DiLascio responded to complaints in a shopping plaza in Seffner that a group of homeless people and their dogs were bothering customers, according to police.

After DiLascio arrived at the scene, she called for backup to help her restrain a dog.

“After repeated instructions for the owners not to release their dogs, Randy Betts released his pit bull who attacked Deputy DiLascio, biting her in the upper thigh and lower calf,” police stated in a press release.

When backup did arrive, they said a struggle ensued between them and Betts, 36. He was eventually arrested and charged with trespassing after warning, resisting with violence and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.

Ashley DeSouza, 33, who was part of the homeless group that shoppers complained about to police, was also arrested and charged with trespassing after warning. It’s not clear why she was singled out in the group or how large the group of homeless people was.

Two dogs were taken to the Hillsborough County Animal Services, according to WFTS in Tampa.

"One of those dogs could have crossed into my property and bitten one of my kids," Jose Guandique, who lives near the shopping center told WFTS. "I was very concerned."

He said a makeshift homeless shelter exists by the shopping center and that police have been called about it several times.

"These are less fortunate people, but we also need to think about protecting our kids and our families," said Guandique.

DiLascio has been treated and since released from a hospital.

[Photos: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office] 

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