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A pit bull apparently broke away from a chain and mauled a man to death early Tuesday as he screamed for help, Dayton police said.

Police in the southwest Ohio city responded to a report of a man yelling, "Jesus, help me, help me!" at around 4:40 a.m. The 911 caller said the man was yelling at "the top of his lungs" amid the sounds of dogs barking loudly. He said the man was also crying.

Lt. Mark Ponichtera said police found the man being attacked in an alley. They were able to get the dog to back off, and the man was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Police fatally shot the dog, which they say was a pit bull.

"There was no way to safely confine the dog," police Lt. Andrew Booher said. Three other dogs were turned over to county animal resource officials.

Booher said in an afternoon press briefing in Dayton that authorities believe all four dogs came from the same residence. He said the owner of that residence was in a nursing home, and police were trying to determine who lived there now and who had responsibility for the dogs. They could face charges. go.com