MINNEAPOLIS — On the eve of Thanksgiving, Mike Karbo and his fiancé Cristina have a lot to be thankful for.
"We were very, very lucky," said Karbo, after being attacked by a pitbull while out on an afternoon stroll in downtown Minneapolis.
"We were just doing our typical route," said Karbo.
Part of that walk was caught on surveillance video including the moment Karbo, Cristina and their three-year-old golden retriever Luca were crossing Hennepin Avenue near N 1st Street.
Moments later, a man who was seated across the street at the intersection was seen in the video unleashing his pitbull into traffic, narrowly missing cars, and heading straight for the couple's golden retriever.
"Just came up and hit the dog and was going right for it's throat," said Karbo. "I knew immediately I needed to get between that dog and our dog."
Karbo says he tried fighting the dog off, and roughly 40 seconds into the chaos, the owner of the pitbull decided to intervene and could be seen crossing the street with another man to help breakup the situation, or at least that's what Karbo says he thought.
"They initially never tried to take the dog off of Michael. They just tried to kick him and tried to hurt him," said Cristina.
"The dog was latched on my arm, digging into it, while the individual was hitting me and he was saying 'sick'em, sick'em,'" explained Karbo.
The dog went on to bite a chunk out of Karbo's arm, leaving him with nerve damage and 16 stitches.
"The top of my thumb, and then the side of my hand, I can't feel," said Karbo. "I had three layers of clothes on and you know it didn't hit any major tendons or artery."
As for the pitbull, authorities made a decision to euthanize it.
"We were told that the dog this morning was put down and brought over to the university of Minnesota for rabies testing," said Karbo.
Minneapolis Police say they have made contact with the suspect in this case and are actively investigating to see if a crime was committed. If that is the case, police say charges will be filed accordingly.
The city of Minneapolis requires dogs be leashed at all times, except in a fenced yard or designated off-leash park where a permit is required.