A Morristown man was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville after he was mauled by his own pit bull at his Reese Street residence, authorities say.

This morning, Eulas Lemka, 58, remained hospitalized in a regular room, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Lemka suffered severe lacerations to his right arm and right leg, according to officer Adam Kimbrough. One first responder described Lemka’s arm as “mangled and broken.”

It’s unclear if the large gray pit bull had been captured by this morning. Kimbrough reported he tased the dog after it approached him aggressively. The dog collapsed for about five seconds and then ran away, according to a police report.

“The dog’s front half was covered in blood from the attack,” the police report states

When Kimbrough rolled up shortly after 2 p.m., a woman named Tia Helton who was taking refuge atop a car, according to the police report.

“There was a large gray pit bull circling the car and attempting to go after (Helton), the report states.

Earlier, someone had struck the pit bull in the head with a hammer. It’s not clear whether the dog was struck before, after or while it was biting Lemka.

Animal cruelty case under

investigation

Cocke County authorities are investigating a recent incident of animal cruelty.

Deputy James Cupp said he responded to the home of Gary Wayne Styles on Lehigh Drive after being contacted by the homeowner. Styles said he came home from work to find his dog, which was chained beside the residence, had died.

Cupp said it appeared that the animal had been stabbed in the head and may also have been burned.

There is a suspect in the incident.