An East Rand man has described in horrifying detail how two pit bull terriers attacked him during his morning jog in Edenvale on Friday.

René Memmel – an experienced runner who had just started a training block for the Soweto Marathon in early November – was attacked at 4.50am on the 12thousand Avenue, Edenvale, on Friday.

“I thought I was going to die,” said Memmel, 38, who lives in Kensington but ran in Edenvale.

The incident happened just 800 meters from where he lived, in his partner’s house.

“I ran until 12thousand Avenue and saw two dogs. I knew there was [expletive]. Two pit bulls roaming the streets will make anyone nervous.

“I sort of stopped and waited to see what they were going to do. They slowly approached me and for a moment I thought they were just going to sniff me and go on their way.

“But then out of the blue they attacked both at the same time.”

READ ALSO: A Kwa-Zulu-Natal woman was mauled by her pet pit bulls

Memmel said the dogs skinned him.

“One grabbed me in the groin area and the other jumped up and grabbed my right wrist. I tried to shake the dog off my wrist by slapping him and eventually he let go.

Photo supplied

“The one in my groin area had jaws and wouldn’t let go. I started screaming. I knew that if they threw me on the ground, they would kill me.”

Memmel says he kept yelling and eventually the man, Jarrod Wentworth, who lives at 12thousand Avenue, which, he says, scared the dogs.

“I couldn’t move and ran to my boyfriend’s house. He took me to my girlfriend’s house 800 meters away.’

Wentworth says he was eating breakfast when he heard Memell’s screams.

“I went outside to see what was going on and that’s when I saw Renee. He was screaming and fighting with two dogs.

“I went back to my house, grabbed the knife I was eating with and went outside. I started shouting at the dogs, and suddenly they ran up to me and attacked me. I swung the knife and sort of pushed him away.

“Then the other dog let go of Rene and rushed at me. I pressed it again and after a few seconds the two dogs came away and stood looking at us. Rene was bleeding profusely and was dazed and confused.’

Wentworth says he’s seen dogs on the street before.

They were always aggressive.

“It was crazy. I saw what they were capable of. They were relentless in tearing René apart; he was literally fighting for his life.”

Runner René Memmel
Runner Rene Memel ran his first marathon in 2021. Photo: Michel Bega

READ ALSO: A Northdale woman had her ear ripped off after being attacked by a pit bull

Memmel later established who the dogs belonged to.

“The lady didn’t come out at all while everything was going on, but then she apologized profusely.

“As I understand it, she has already been to the police to “report”. I also heard that two dogs were put down.’

On Friday afternoon, Memmel underwent a three-and-a-half-hour operation to repair the wounds.

“I hope there is no permanent damage,” he says. “The surgeon seems pleased.

It was a terrible experience.

“At some point, I accepted the fact that I would be killed. I’m fit and strong, but I can barely stay on my feet. It was so tiring to fight them, even though the whole ordeal didn’t last long.

“I strongly urge people with dogs to make sure they are kept safely on the property.”

The Citizen contacted the owner of the dogs, but she was unable to speak. This story will be updated if and when she speaks to us.

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