DA: Somerset woman dies after being mauled by dog while having a seizure

DA: Somerset woman dies after being mauled by dog while having a seizure
Stock photo of police lights. (Igor Vershinsky/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Igor Vershinsky/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

SOMERSET, Mass. — A woman in Somerset died Friday night after being attacked by the family dog while she was having a seizure, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

Melissa Astacio, 44, was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital where she died at 6:20 p.m. Family members said she was known to suffer from seizures.

The DA said Astacio’s daughter called 911 just before 5:30 p.m. to report the seizure. After arriving on scene at Lees River Avenue, police had to use a Taser on the 8-year-old pit bull.

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Astacio’s neighbor Michael Viveiros said people carried Melissa over their shoulder and didn’t wait for a stretcher because "she was bleeding pretty bad and they wanted to get her help as quick as possible.”

A close family friend said the dog was protective of Astacio and never left her side. The pit bull is now in quarantine at Swansea Animal Rescue.

Police are investigating the fatal incident.