Mar 10, 1897 Chicago Pit Bull Used as Weapon Against Police Officer


Savage and Unequal Battle Ends in a Dashing Rescue of Carl H. Erickson by Comrades.


Chicago - John Duff, No. 575 Herndon avenue, with a saw for a weapon and a bulldog as an ally, gave Policeman Carl H. Erickson a warm reception at his house yesterday afternoon when the bluecoat called to advise Duff not to beat his wife.

Mrs. Duff had rushed hatless into the Sheffield Avenue Station a short time before and asked the police to protect her from her husband’s alleged brutality.  Then she took reuge in the house of a friend while Erickson went to call on Mr. Duff.
Illustration of Buster Brown's pit bull Tige attacking

Erickson found Duff in the kitchen with the bulldog, which was chained to a door.  He told Duff to cease abusing his wife or he would be arrested.  Duff picked up a saw as soon as the bluecoat appeared and threatened to injure him unless he left the house.

“I’ll have no police dictating my family policy,” declared the irate husband.

Erickson announced that unless Mrs. Duff could return home with the assurance that she would not be beaten Duff would have to go to the police station.

Then Duff unchained the bulldog and advanced upon the policeman with the saw.  The dog was the first to reach Erickson, and it fastened its teeth in his trousers.  Erickson was thrown from his feet, and as he landed on the floor the dog began attacking his face.

Duff ran at Erickson with the saw, and as Erickson was gaining his feet, Duff struck him over the head with the implement.

At the same moment Erickson drew his revolver, and shot Duff in the leg.  Then the policeman sank to the floor, stunned by the blow from the daw.  Duff jumped upon his prostrate opponent, and wrenched the revolver from his hand.  But Erickson soon was rescued.

During this time a number of citizens had been attracted by the trouble, and one of them telephoned the Sheffield Avenue Police Station that a policeman was being murdered.

A patrol wagon containing Lieut. Hutchinson and five policemen responded, and Duff was arrested and the dog killed.

Erickson and Duff were taken to the Alexian Brothers’ Hospital, where an examination of their wounds was made.

A large piece of flesh had been torn form the policeman’s lip, and both his hands lacerated by the bulldog.  The wound in his head which was inflicted by the saw was an ugly one, but the skull was not fracutred.

The bullet wound in Duff’s leg was found to be a slight one.  After leaving the hospital Duff was locked up on several charges.

Mrs. Duff is expected to appear in Judge Bonnefol’s court against her husband this morning.

The Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday March 10, 1897, p. 1