A man believed to be in his 70s has died after being mauled by four dogs on Hawaii’s Big Island, police said.
The man was treated by medical personnel at the scene and died while being transported Tuesday to Kona Community Hospital, police said in a statement.
Police were alerted by a witness, who saw the victim being attacked in the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates neighborhood by four large dogs. The witness chased the dogs off and called authorities.
“There is currently no evidence that the victim provoked this horrific attack. This incident is a senseless tragedy that could have been avoided,” Hawaii County Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz said.
The dogs’ owners were not home when the attack occurred, but police have contacted them.
Police are also checking claims the dogs had previously been reported as stray animals. The owners have surrendered all four dogs and a litter of 10 puppies to county animal control.
Police are investigating it as a negligent failure to control a dangerous dog case, the release said. Failure to take reasonable measures to prevent an unprovoked dog attack resulting in serious injury or death is a felony under county law. If convicted, dog owners could face up to a $25,000 fine, 10 years in prison, restitution and the humane destruction of the dogs involved.
The victim’s name has not been released pending notification of relatives. Police said an autopsy will determine the cause of death.