Fatal Dog Mauling in Somerset

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

Thomas M. Quinn III

District Attorney​

Press Release

December 21, 2019

A 44-year-old Somerset woman died last night as a result of a dog mauling.

At around 5:20 p.m. on Friday, Somerset Police received a 911 call from the victim’s daughter.  The 911 caller advised that her mother, Melissa Astacio, was having a seizure inside their home at 229 Lees River Avenue when the family dog​ began to attack.

When police and paramedics arrived on scene, police were forced to deploy a Taser on the dog before being able to assist the victim, who was then rushed to Rhode Island Hospital.  The victim, who was known by her family and friends to suffer from seizures, was pronounced deceased by doctors at Rhode Island Hospital at 6:20 pm.

The dog, who is believed to be an 8-year-old Pit Bull, was secured at the scene of the incident by Swansea Animal Rescue and has been placed in quarantine at their facility in Swansea.

No criminal conduct or foul play is suspected at this time.  Any inquiries regarding the process by which the dog will now go through must be made through the Town of Somerset.  

The investigation remains active and ongoing at this time. 


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications