A woman who had to undergo plastic surgery after she was mauled by three dogs has said the attack being filmed was the “hardest thing” to deal with.
Lakaydia Reynolds, 24, feared that she was about to die when one dog jumped up to bite her face as another scratched her legs, before a third joined in.
The attack in Abbots Park, Lambeth, in south-west London, on June 6 was filmed by an onlooker and shared on social media, where it has been watched tens of thousands of times.
Speaking for the first time about the attack to the BBC’s Reliable Sauce podcast, Ms Reynolds said that the encounter, on what she described as the “worst day of my entire life”, had left her with permanent pain in her right arm.
She said that she was on her way to a driving lesson when two dogs that were not on leads approached her and launched the attack, after she asked their owner to move them away.
“It was just me against these three dogs. The owner himself actually started asking for help, which made me even more scared – because I thought, if he can’t control his dogs, then who can?”
“I had to loosen my hoodie and take my hoodie off, and tear my arm out of the dog’s mouth. If I didn’t get away within the split second that I did, I knew those dogs were going to kill me,” she said.
Ms Reynolds spent a week in hospital after suffering scratches, nerve damage and a lip injury that required plastic surgery.
She told the BBC that her right arm was no longer mobile, meaning that she was unable to play rugby or hold up her violin, and she now faces an 18-month wait to discover whether her nerve damage will heal.
The Metropolitan Police told the BBC that the owner of the dogs contacted the force the day after the attack and voluntarily handed the animals to officers. He was interviewed under caution on June 15 and remains under investigation.
One of the dogs involved in the attack was identified as an American pit bull terrier, a banned breed in Britain, and was put down. The two other dogs remain in police kennels while investigations are carried out.
Ms Reynolds said that the attack had harmed her “mentally, socially, emotionally and physically” and that she was unable to watch the recorded footage because it would bring back the trauma.
“Knowing that people can watch the thing that ruined my life – everybody can see it.
“The hardest thing was knowing that somebody recorded it – I thought I was going to die,” she added.
Her remarks come after Rishi Sunak pledged a ban on American XL bully dogs following a spate of attacks, including the death of Ian Price, 52, in the West Midlands.
A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a 54-year-old was killed protecting his puppy from an XL bully on Tuesday. The victim died in hospital after he was attacked in Shiney Row, Sunderland.
Ms Reynolds suggested that more checks need to be made on dog owners and warned that without “proper management” more people would be hurt.
“There needs to be more rules about who can own a dog, such as dog licences. There needs to be some sort of a way of controlling who has a dog and whether dogs are trained or not.”