Florida Keys

Miami Herald Florida Keys reporter mauled by bull mastiff while on assignment

David Goodhue
David Goodhue

A Miami Herald reporter was brutally attacked by a bull mastiff on Tuesday while on assignment.

David Goodhue, who covers the Florida Keys, went to speak to the couple who run the Newport Boat Yard in Key Largo. More than a year after Hurricane Irma slammed the island chain, the Moore family had reached out to Goodhue to tell their story of how they are still struggling to get repairs to their business.

Goodhue was still in his red Hyundai sedan when he was attacked by the owners’ dog.

The call log from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is dramatic: “Dog bit male’s nose off,” is the third log entry at 4:07 p.m. — one minute after the office received the call.

Goodhue, 45, was taken by ambulance to Mariners Hospital, and was later transferred to Jackson South, where he underwent reconstructive surgery Wednesday morning.

He sent fellow Keys’ reporter Gwen Filosa a few texts after the attack on Wednesday morning.

“I was doing a story about the owner of a Key Largo boat yard ... who was frustrated that he couldn’t get any reimbursement for Irma damages to his property on Adams Street. When I pulled into the parking lot and opened the door, his bull mastiff ran to the car.

“Guy said, ‘That’s Diesel, he’s friendly.’ I let the dog sniff my hand, then petted him on the head and tried to exit the car. Dog bit my right hand and face,” Goodhue wrote.

Terry Wayne Moore, 45, and Sheri Moore, 44, who lease property on the land to run their business say they are “devastated” by the attack.

“He was so nice, this man tried to come and help us and it’s horrible,” Sheri Moore said of Goodhue. “We’re traumatized as well. If there’s anything we can do.”

The Moores aren’t sure why this happened. “He was sitting in his car and leaned out to our dog,” Sheri Moore said. “He was petting the dog and had his face close to the dog’s face. My husband came from behind and went to shake his hand. I don’t know if it was a fast movement. And he snapped at him twice and it was horrifying.”

The 3-year-old mastiff is currently on home quarantine in a cage on the Moores’ property, she said. The family has had the dog since it was 6-months-old, and says that it is current on all of its vaccines.

Animal Control will visit the Moores’ home in 10 days to make sure “he’s not acting weird.” The Moores plan to install a new fence around the boat yard, Sheri Moore said. The dog will also be muzzled and not allowed to have contact with visitors.

“We have small children and people come in and out of the yard all the time,” Moore said. “He looks scary but people love him. We are devastated by this. He’s never done anything like that before and we can’t even imagine. ... Please convey to him how bad we feel about it.”

Goodhue remained hospitalized on Thursday.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.