(PNS reporting from FRESNO) — A Fresno man who survived a relentless attack by chihuahuas last month took his own life Monday after weeks of even more relentless humiliation over the incident by friends, family members and total strangers.
Thirty-seven-year-old Perry Tochico was walking home from Dos Dudes from Detroit, a popular Mexican “casual dining” restaurant when, he said, a pack of vicious canines surrounded him and brought him to the ground in a scene straight out of “Animal Planet.”
Tochico sustained slight injuries to the ankles in the attack, which he told police had involved no fewer than ten dogs of various breeds, including doberman pinschers and at least one pitbull.
But none of Tochico’s descriptions could counter the humiliating details of the attack, which were captured on a now-deleted viral video and became an international sensation via Facebook.
In the video, a high-pitched Tochico is heard shrieking “Dear God, no! My ankle!” and “Hey, turn off the camera, man!” as five chihuahuas wrestled him to the ground before finishing him off with a series of ferocious bites to the nose.
Despite Tochico’s insistence that the chihuahuas were large, aggressive and had perhaps been “Africanized,” Animal Control officers on the scene reported that the dogs were petite and could only be described as “adorable.” The largest dog, a chocolate applehead named Frida, weighed only six pounds.
Close friends say Tochico struggled with the stigma and intense ribbing that usually follows chihuahua attacks, and while he survived the mauling by pint-sized pooches, he lost his battle with self-esteem this week.
“He left the world a broken and bewildered man, afraid of the sound of yapping,” a family spokesman told reporters outside the deceased’s home.
Tochico’s body was found in his garage by a gardener, and judging from the needle in his arm, he died of a self-inflicted steroid overdose.