An elderly Queens woman was mauled to death by a mastiff that she had adopted from a local shelter, reports said.
Just before 1 a.m. on Monday, police responded to a 911 call at the woman's 27th Street home in Long Island City. They found 75-year-old Louise Hermida unconscious with trauma to her upper torso, police said.
A 39-year-old man, identified in media reports as her autistic son, was also inside the home with an injury to his lower left leg after he was reportedly bit by the dog. He had gone to a neighbor's house to report that his mother had been attacked by the dog.
They were both taken to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Hospital, where the woman was pronounced dead. Police reportedly sedated the dog at the scene, and it is now in the custody of Animal Care Centers of NYC.
Hermida had reportedly planned to return the mastiff on Monday because it was too aggressive. She had adopted the dog from the ACC nearly six years ago, an ACC spokesperson told news reporters.
A neighbor told reporters that Hermida and her son owned several dogs and that the mastiff had recently attacked a dog on the street.
Mastiffs are described as "courageous and dignified, but good-natured and docile," with "medium energy," according to the American Kennel Club. A grown male can weigh up to 220 pounds.