A pregnant tourist was seriously injured in Rome when an 85-pound Rottweiler fell to its death from a third-floor window, crushing her as she strolled along a busy street.
Ludovica Caprino, 27, of Switzerland, was vacationing in the Italian capital last week when she was hit by the plummeting pup while strolling with her mom along upscale Via Frattina, La Reppublica reported.
The 8-month-old Rottweiler, named Cody, died in the bizarre mishap, which landed Caprino in a nearby hospital with serious injuries, according to the Italian daily.
Her unborn child “miraculously did not suffer any damage” and is expected to survive, the paper said, citing officials.
It was not immediately clear why the dog fell, with rumors ranging from it chasing after cats — to it even being killed by gunshots, noted La Reppublica, which said an autopsy is being carried out at a nearby kennel.
Caprino’s mom said she initially “thought we had been caught up in a shoot-out.”
“There was a huge bang and then out of the corner of my eye I saw something hit the pavement,” the unidentified mom said, according to the Daily Mail
“After a second or so I realized it was a dog and it had hit my daughter. The dog just missed me because I was a few paces ahead. I then heard people screaming and I looked at my daughter and she was covered in blood,” she said.
“She didn’t appear conscious, and I thought she was dead, I tried to get her to come around and then she tried to stand up, but I told her to stay on the floor,” said the mom.
“Ludovica was in a bad way and then the owner of the dog came out onto the road and she started crying for her dog, even though there was an injured person there,” she said.
The mom said her son-in-law, a doctor, rushed over to help.
He “immediately calmed us down, even if we still didn’t quite understand how a dog could have fallen from a window. He got into the ambulance with her but even now I still don’t get how a dog can fall from a window,” she said.
“It’s absurd that a person can be walking through the center of Rome and something like this happens,” she added.
The dog’s owner, Emilia Monika Pawlak, has reportedly visited Caprino at the hospital.
“I just don’t know what happened. I was in the bathroom and Cody was always next to me, then I heard a really loud bang and people shouting,” she said, according to the outlet.
“The lady who owns the shop on the ground floor called me and said to come down as Cody had fallen out of the window and hit someone and when I got there, I saw the woman on the floor and my dog lifeless on the ground,” she said.
Pawlak said Cody was a stray that she had adopted about a year ago.
“I’ve told the police I am willing to assume responsibility but I’m not sure what they can do, it’s not as if I threw the dog out of the window. It was an accident. There was nothing I could do,” she said, adding that she has received death threats.
“I’m now worried for my family, I have two little children. I just hope the lady gets better. I’ve left my details with her family. I feel totally responsible for what happened, and it’s been on my mind a lot,” Pawlak said.
“Some people have told me that Cody didn’t actually hit her but came very close and as result she was shocked by what happened, fell over and banged her head on the ground,” she continued.
“But as I said if there are consequences and I am ready to face them, although I don’t agree with the police theory that Cody was chasing a cat. He wasn’t like that at all, he didn’t chase the cats,” added Palak, who owns several cats.
Pawlak’s partner, Gabriele, also claimed the dog did not hit Caprino.
“The following day we spoke with various eyewitnesses, including a person who was next to the lady at the time of the incident,” he told La Repubblica.
“She said that the dog did not even touch her, but that out of fear, seeing him fall, she rushed back and hit her head,” he told the paper, according to a translation.
A police spokesperson told the Daily Mail that the accident remains under investigation and authorities are looking into whether to lodge any charges against Pawlak.
Caprino works as a governance and integrity manager at the World Rowing Headquarters in Lausanne.
“We’ve heard about what happened and just wish her all the best,” a colleague told the Daily Mail.