"For every story of a snuggly, family oriented pit bull, there seems to be another story of the terror these dogs can cause."
Rockford, with its love for the real pit bulldog since the 19th century dogfighting era, won't be moved by mere questions of public safety.
'"A pit bull has that effect - the instant realization about impending death," said Kevin Worley, a letter carrier who works Rockford's west side.'
'Worley hasn't been bitten by a pit bull, but his colleague, Russ Haile, has. Haile, 31, a former collegiate football player and wrestler who weighs 250 pounds, was walking his east-side rute on Fifth Street near 10th Avenue when a pit bull appeared He dropped his mailbag between the dog and hiimself.
'The dog jerked the bag away and leapt at Haile's face. Haile put his hand up; the dog, standing on its hind legs, chomped into it. The two scuffled across the street in that odd embrace; Haile walking backward, the dog following on its two feet, nearly as tall as the man.
"If you could feel how hard it bit, oh my God. It's like a car parked on my hand," he said.
'They tripped over the curb and the dog switched to Haile's right knee. Minutes later, Haile wrenched the dog from his leg -- causing a gash that needed seven stitches -- and stumbled into an apartment foyer.
'"I was beating that dog any way I could. It didn't do anything but make him mad. It was really scary." That pit bull was destroyed.'
'At minimum, the dogs should be kept inside a fence at all times says Haile. And if banning them would prevent future attacks, do that.
"If it would solve the problem of anybody else getting attacked like I did - I would hate for that to happen to somebody else - yeah, I would like to see it."'
Rockford Register Star, Rockford, IL, April 23, 2002, p. 5A