On June 25, 2012 at 8:48 p.m., the Roselle Park Police Department (RPPD) was notified that a pitbull dog was attacking two (2) individuals near the 7-11 store on Locust Street at West Webster Avenue. Patrolman Alexander Lanza responded first on the scene.
As he arrived, he observed the dog viciously biting a teenage boy in the middle of the street. The boy’s friends were trying to fend off the attacking pitbull by striking the dog with a bicycle. Patrolman Lanza sprayed the dog with pepper spray then held the dog down – allowing the boy to escape.
Patrolman Gregory Polakoski arrived on scene to assist. As Patrolman Polakoski was retrieving an animal snare from his vehicle’s trunk, the dog turned on officer Lanza. The pitbull bit into the officer’s thigh and would not let go. Lanza unholstered his firearm but was unable to defend himself since several children had gathered nearby and were in his range of fire. Patrolman Polakoski ran to his aid and delivered several baton strikes to the attacking dog. The dog released his grip allowing Lanza to escape. Polakoski grabbed the top the of the dog’s neck and held on to prevent another attack. Polakoksi was able to hold on even as the dog – with no collar – lunged up at him several times.
Patrolman Lanza, suffering from multiple bite wounds, was able to retrieve the animal snare and secure the dog. As he guided the dog to his patrol vehicle, it bit him again, this time on the ankle.
The dog was secured then released to the Woodbridge Health Department, Division of Animal Control, for quarantine.
Patrolman Polakoski located two (2) victims; the 17-year-old from Elizabeth who was attacked in the street and another 17-year-old from Roselle who was attacked prior to the police arriving on scene. Both were transported via ambulance to Overlook Hospital – Union campus for treatment. The juveniles both suffered puncture wounds to their arms and legs, with one of the victims suffering a tearing wound to his calf. Patrolman Lanza was also treated at the hospital for puncture wounds to his thigh and ankle and later released.
The ownership of the dog is now under investigation by RPPD Detectives.