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Police kill 3 'aggressive' pit bulls after they bit mother, son

A pack of three adult pit bulls bit a mother and her son early Friday south of Corona del Mar before being shot to death by authorities.

The attack near Newport Coast Drive and East Coast Highway occurred at 5:36 a.m. The victims were guests at Marriott's Newport Coast Villas, said Newport Beach Police Sgt. Todd Hughes.

They were taken to Hoag Hospital with minor injuries, said Jennifer Schulz, a Fire Department spokeswoman. It was unclear if all three dogs bit the mother and son, or how many bites they had.

Eventually, the pit bulls were located, but when one officer got out of his car, the dogs advanced as if to attack.

"He retreated back in the vehicle," Hughes said.

According to a police statement, all the dogs aggressively attacked the vehicle, which caused additional officers and the police's Animal Control unit to respond to the location.

"The officers intended to try and safely corral and capture the animals," a police statement said, "[but] responding officers were unable to exit their vehicles due to the aggressive behavior of the dogs."

Hughes said the three dogs were euthanized in the interest of public safety.

"Officers were not only concerned for their own safety, but more importantly this location is frequented by joggers, cyclists, golfers and many others," according to a police statement.

No officers were injured.

The dogs had no tags, and their bodies were scanned but no chips were found, Hughes said.

-- Amy Senk, Times Community News

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