August 12th, 2011
11:57 AM ET

Police 'put that dog down' after it kills pregnant California woman

Greg Napora of Pacifica, California, came home to a nightmare Thursday: His pregnant, lifeless wife lying on the ground, her face and torso injured from dozens of bites and one of the family pit bulls standing over her, according to CNN affiliates.

Though police say Darla Napora, 32, was pregnant, it's unclear how far along she was. Authorities responded to the suburban San Francisco home after receiving a call from the husband.

"When they arrived, they found the victim laying in her own front living room. She was not breathing, unresponsive and had major trauma to her upper body," Pacifica Police Capt. Dave Bertini told CNN affiliate KGO. "The husband stated that when he got home, at about noon, he found his wife with their pit bull hovering over her."

Kathy Carlson, 63, lives across the street from the white, single-story home where the attack occurred. She told the San Francisco Chronicle that Greg Napora was outside and visibly distraught when police arrived.

"He was in the driveway all frantic, yelling," Carlson told the paper. "He had blood on his hands, blood on his shirt and blood down his pants."

According to CNN affiliate KTVU, first responders tried to administer CPR to Darla Napora when the blood-covered 2-year-old male dog charged them. They shot the animal.

"The last thing we wanted to happen was for the dog to get out and start attacking bystanders or be loose in the neighborhood," Bertini told KGO. "So as soon as the dog got out of the backyard, the decision was immediately made to put that dog down, and that's why the dog was shot three times by two officers on scene."

The couple had had the dog since it was a pup. The Naporas owned another pit bull, a spayed 6-year-old, which is not believed to have been involved in the attack, police said. As a precaution, it was taken to Peninsula Humane Society for an examination.

Though San Francisco has a law that requires city residents to spay or neuter their pit bulls, Pacifica has no similar law, according to the Chronicle. The 2-year-old dog that mauled Darla Napora had not been neutered, police told local media.

Neighbors told the two television stations that the dogs appeared normal and well behaved in the past. A next-door neighbor told KTVU that the dogs would bark at each other, but when Darla Napora called them, they'd back down. They responded well to her, the neighbor said.

Another neighbor, Tom Lujan, told the station he thinks pit bulls are dangerous.

“I wouldn't have one, and I wouldn't want my family around one,” he said.

There have been no problems reported at the Napora household and no reason to expect the dog to attack someone, police said. Police said there were no prior problems at the Napora household, and no reason to expect the dog would attack.

An autopsy for Darla Napora and a necropsy for the pit bull are slated for Friday.

"Eventually we're going to find out if there's anything physically or medically wrong with the dog that may have caused this attack," Bertini told KGO. "We have already done an extensive interview with the husband, and there are follow up questions that we may ask in the future."

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Filed under: Animals • California • U.S.
soundoff (1,232 Responses)
  1. SdNavyWife

    Hoot, you dont read about other breeds because the media chooses not to report it! Just a few months ago a small child was mauled and killed in his San Diego home (military housing) by the family's pet dog. This dog was not a pitbull and did not have any pitbull in it, I believe it was a lab mix, it did not make national headlines because it was not a pitbull, Im sure if it would have been a pitbull it would have been all over the media! I do not dislike the pitbull breed although I would not own one if I had a child, so don't think that I am some hell bent crusader out defending the breed, Im just saying, the media takes the stories that they think will get the most attention and they run with it!

    August 16, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Fearfighter1

    There is a danger to owning any animal regardless of the type but let's be honest pit bull owners what was the original intent of people breeding the pitbull in the first place. Exactly !!!

    August 16, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zapruder313

      FF1- Bullseye amigo.

      August 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray in Vegas

      I'm a computer repair person and go into many residential homes every day. I absolutely hate pit bulls. No matter what their owners say .. from what I'm witnessed, they never have complete control over those animals, the owners never seem to attain "alpha dog" status. Pit bulls are very strong animals and are difficult to control physically and emotionally. They are very stubborn. Any yes, they were bred to tear people and other dogs to shreds and to be absolutely fearless. I'll take a German Shepard any day over one of those monsters.

      August 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • quixoticlexz

      Pit Bulls were actually trained in the civil war to be used as military dogs. Do some research.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bibijn

    How many more innocent victims will have to die or be maimed by pit bulls who are supposedley wonderful, sweet dogs? There have been too many tragedies in the past for this to be "just a fluke." Even with loving owners, these dogs continue to kill and maim without provocation. Maybe it is just their nature to attack and we should learn to respect that and choose other breeds for family pets.

    August 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • megafairandsquare

      Well said !!!!!!!

      August 16, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doberman

      My friend has the biggest pit bull I have ever seen. I often dog sit for him when he goes out of town. This dog is the sweetest dog I have been around. At first I was a bit fearful just due to the dogs size, but that soon went away and the dog obeys my every word. Pit bulls are strong breeds but look to be led. Even those dogs that are abused and forced to fight don't lash at their owner. They just want to please the "alpha" male. Dog owners who are not experienced should not own this breed. If you are the pack leader, this breed is great to have around.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Zapruder313

    Some fun dog facts with a point to follow:

    1) ALL dogs are domesticated wolves.
    2) Every dog from a chihuahua to a doberman shares the exact same DNA.
    3) There are more different breeds of dogs than any other species on Earth, because humans have bred dogs for different purposes for thousands of years.

    Toy-size, lap dogs were bred to be "cute". Terriers were bred to exterminate pests and rodents. Shepard and sheep dogs were bred to be intelligent/fast enough to keep herds of other animals in line, etc., etc.

    Pit Bulls, among other breeds, were bred to be guard dogs. The key distinction between a guard dog and a watch dog is that a guard dog has the anatomy and mentality to do something other than bark if it feels threatened. That was/is their purpose. Wake up. Their jaws can crush bone for a reason. We bred them that way.

    August 16, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • rocg

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Pit bulls were bred to fight other dogs, not to be guard dogs. They were actually bred NOT to bite humans so that their owners could break up fights between dogs.

      August 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      You are COMPLETELY WRONG. Read a sentence or two on the breed before sounding like an idiot. Pitbulls make TERRIBLE guard dogs. They were bred for DOG fighting. They are typically great with people but dog aggressive and high prey drive. The American Temperament Test for dogs ranks a pitbull ABOVE a golden retriever! These are the MOST BASIC FACTS!
      If a pitbull does attack someone, it is devastating and can be deadly, but it happens pretty rarely considering how MANY pitbulls are out there.
      This is a shame though

      August 17, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Zapruder313

      Um, right, it's obvious I have done no research on the subject.

      Pit Bulls were originally bred to fight other dogs. Hence the name. I'm man enough to admit an error without calling someone else an idiot or typing in ALL CAPS.

      Most people today (I hope) are not ignorant, inbred sadists who think dog fighting is okay. I will give you both (if you are actually two people) the benefit of the doubt and assume you are not advocating dog fighting or saying that is a Pit Bulls' only utility.

      Pit Bulls are very effective guard dogs. Most people are scared at the sight of them or even knowing they are in a certain yard keeps people away. Read 99% of the posts on this board for proof. My neighbor has a pit bull that you would not see, hear or smell until it was biting you in the throat. I'd say that's pretty effective. We're not talking about a barbed wire fence or JYD situation here. This was a pregnant woman in California for fox sake.

      Maybe the American Temperament Test can tell us how many people have been mauled or killed by Golden Retrievers.

      "Typically great with people". Right. A landmine is perfectly safe until you step on it.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
    • someguy78

      Do you think dogs know the difference? Dogs don't go to science class. They see people and other dogs as the same thing. They consider their owner to be alpha because he/she feeds them and provides protection. They consider children and non-alpha humans to be just other dogs. They instinctively attack based on dominance and territorial disputes. A pit bull is larger and more deadly due to its breeding.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MLE

    I worked at a rural dog shelter in VA for 2 years where 25% of our dogs were purebred Pitbulls. I've been bit, snarled at, or snapped at by almost every single breed you can think of right down to a cute little shih-tzu, but never a Pit. None of my coworkers were either. We were always happy to get the Pits because they were nicer than the other breeds.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ivan

      You're missing the point. A quote from the article.... "Neighbors told the two television stations that the dogs appeared normal and well behaved in the past." So when they do snap, it's pretty bad, I'm happy that it never happened to you or your co-workers.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • someguy78

      If you knew anything about dogs you would know they are territorial. Try caring for a pit bull on their turf and see what happens.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paddydoglover

    Why is it that we must vilify pit bulls with sensationalist news stories like this one. Before the pit bull it was the rottweiler, before the rottweiler it was the doberman, before that the German shepherd. Pit bulls used to be called "The Nanny Dogs" for their sweet temperaments. For those saying that they're bred as fighting dogs, consider the Boston Terrier, the Bulldog, the Boxer, the Bull Terrier, the English Mastiff, and the Shar Pei. All of those breed were also bred for fighting.

    August 17, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      You'd call this story "sensationalist"?? A woman and her unborn child DIED by the teeth of their own pet! It really happened! I'm a "dog person" myself, and I've found that bigger dogs are usually less aggressive toward me. That doesn't mean I won't stay away from any pit bulls or pit bull mixes I see. Any dog can be a real sweetheart, but pits are too dangerous to take the chance. A chihuahua could be mean, but they can't really do much damage.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Stephanie

    Check out the most telling part of the article "One of the family pit bulls standing over her" (paragraph 1). There lies the explanation to this tragedy. Multiple dogs in a household. This creates a stronger urge to act as a pack animal, whether or not the other dogs are around at the time of the incident. The additional factor or the dog being a male also adds to the problem. Historically, other breeds have been vilified for the same sort of incidents, such as Rottweilers, Dobermans, etc. I speak as someone who had the unthinkable occur in my family, when our male dog suddenly turned on our son, due to being in pain and our son unintentionally touched him. We were lucky and the injuries were slight, but it taught us a lesson that large or strong dogs need to be monitored, especially males which tend to be more territorial and larger than their female counterparts. This is a tragic situation, but I can 't help but think that if it wasn't the wife today it would be the infant in a few weeks time. Dog owners (and I am one) – please stop waxing lyrical about the qualities of your large and reputedly aggressive dogs. It's a trait I have noticed with pit bull owners especially,but not exclusively. The terminology that creeps into the vocabulary gives a clue that many of these owners enjoy the fantasy of being in control of an animal that most of us are wary around. I just recently had to listen to the ramblings of a pit bull owner as she explained that her gentle (they usually are until they kill you) pit bull was not just a pit bull but an "empress" pit bull. I asked her what that was and she puffed up her chest and told me that it is larger than a regular pit bull. Please don't try to tell me that this owner is happy to have a regular dog like the rest of us! I am sick of the excuses. Yes, I'm sure not all pits are killing machines, but they do lead the pack in dog attacks like this and pit bull owners need to really take note of the real fear that you neighbors experience being near your dogs. We don 't think you are some sort of brave lion tamer, we just think you are a law suit waiting to happen.

    August 17, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. choppers

    Paddydoglover, would you bring a pit bull home for dinner to meet your family (wife child)? Pitt owners are one step next to chimp and lion owners (dinner).

    August 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. choppers

    Prettypiper, I think you just took the cake. Time to exit this thread because killing a person is manslaughter killing a dog is self defense.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. animalLover

    very very sad to hear this. My condolences to this family and their loved ones.
    If you have a pitbull, learn to monitore your dog AT ALL TIMES, like children (in this case this one is a dangerous one).
    have their mouth guard at all times, there is a reason why this breed has history of violence and tragic inncidents (that could have been avoided)
    my very first pet was a german sheppard, this girl was loyal loving and so smart. next one was a Boxer, we fell in love with him, and had many other boxers after him. Very protective, they pay close attention to everything and yes the males are protectives of their family (humans). The doberman, at the time everyone would say to be careful with those due to their bad reputation. well ours was a tall, (taller than me, at the time) muscular gorgeous dog, got along well with the other boxers since they all grew up together in our home (we had about 5, yes that many)... unfortunatelly we had a situation similar to this one (NO, my dogs didnt kill anyone). we took them to the park and few mins later, one of us got distracted and attacked an elderly neighbour... for unknown reasons, Our young female (always trouble maker) 5 months old boxer (Mily) seem to have started it all, and guess other 2 dogs started attacking the poor man, i was only 12 and didnt know how to save him, i tried it all, until my uncle came to help me separate the dogs, ...notice how i said i have 5 dogs, 3 boxers, 1 german sheppard and one doberman, well.... the oldest Boxer didnt do nothing, he just stood there, he actuall left and went for a walk, did his business n went home, yes, HE walked away, the German sheppard, also walked away and she was only 1yr old, still a young pup. why you may ask? well these 2 have different personalities and different breed, but were raise equally. All other 3 were crazy dogs, high, physcos, or on drugs, who knows.
    when it was time to face the concequences, we took care of the man's injuries, hospital, medicine and all.......i was afraid they would put my dogs down or something....the solution was to put them in jail.....but we didnt, instead we decided to put ONE boxer in dog jail, which one? the one that walk away......
    reason y is, if we let take any of the crazy one they would've probably want to put them down......we couldnt let that happen. our dogs were like our kids, family.
    so my dog (the well beheaved boxer) spent i think 7 or 10 days in dog jail, and i would go visit him and bring him food everyday cuz in that tiny little cell, they dont give u food, only Dog lost a lot of weight, on his last day, i took him to a restaurant where i ordered him 5 lbs of chicken wings. boy was back to his regular weight in no time.
    As for the crazy dogs, those were punished for a long long time.
    The doberman was believed to be born a police dog, he was too much, loving towards us, but agressive with others. He didnt like anyone (strangers) near us (the kids). My father knew a farmer who lived outside the city, guy owned huge land, and gave my dog away. well we knew he was gonna be happy surrounded by the cows, bulls, sheeps and other dogs like him. At least thats what he made us believe, lol we visited him couple of times, he thougth he was coming home with us. he stayed there, yr later became a father.
    true story.
    all the other dogs died for different reasons, 2 of our boxers were stolen from our yard. up until now I wander if they r happy and taken care of like we did.......
    we always had boxers, now we have just one, and 5 bulldogs. Harmless and adorable. everyone wants a piece of them.
    what can i say, I love animals.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • JPX


      August 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • haha

      lol, your story is humorous- especially at 4:30am when I haven't gone to sleep yet.

      August 18, 2011 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. JPX

    I hate pit bulls – you kind of get what you deserve if you insist on owning a killer dog. It especially baffles me that people would have babies and children around a killer dog. I don't care how much people believe that their killer dog is "safe". All it takes is for the animal to misread a cue and go into attack mode. I also believe that it's unfair to have a pit bull if you have neighbors. Why should I be afraid to be in my neighborhood because you own a killer dog that could possibly escape? It's very selfish. I have no problem with dog ownership, I just think you're an idiot for having a killer dog.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. marc

    Hey where's PETA an animal has been killed

    August 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dee

    Pit Bull owners whine about how loving their pets are. But when there ARE dog attacks in the U.S. a LARGE percentage of the breed involved is Pit Bull. I'm sure there is a website out there that compiles such statistics. Nevertheless, a Google search will confirm it. Plus, let's get real – how often do you hear of Golden Retrievers, Labs or Collies killing people? Pit Bull owners act just like those parents that have bratty children. Oh, it can't be MY pet! It's my pet so it must be perfect and loving.

    What these owners don't understand is the animals can be sweet and loyal 99% of the time but that 1% the animal can go absolutely nuts, and kill its own owner!

    But then again, I don't meet a lot of highly intelligent people that own pitbulls. Make whatever conclusion you want from that.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      my guess is you do not meet a lot of intelligent people at all because you run in your own circle.

      August 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • animalLover

      "What these owners don't understand is the animals can be sweet and loyal 99% of the time but that 1% the animal can go absolutely nuts, and kill its own owner! "

      i agree 100%.

      Although I'm not afraid of pitbulls (or any dogs) whenever i see one, (mouth guard safe) i always wanna pet it. They are beautiful dogs. But i wouldnt get one.

      August 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. vanmo96

    My condolences go out to the family of the victim. I'd like to remind us all that we don't know everything about what caused this. I believe that the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier are great breeds when in good hands, but, like every other breed, can be aggressive in bad hands. In dog attacks, human examinations of dogs when determining a breed is subjective, while even DNA testing is wildly variable. The reason you don't hear about Labs or Collies attacking people is that "Pit Bull" is an attention getter. I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but I don't want to start speculating about the exact causes of an attack.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lou50

    pitt bulls have two problems, inbreeding and owners. they should all be fixed since you can't fix the owner issue.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
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