Saturday, February 18, 2017

New York: Brooklyn Boy, 5, Is Critically Wounded in Pit Bull Attack

NEW YORK -- A 5-year-old Brooklyn boy was viciously mauled at home on Friday evening by one of his family’s two pit bulls, leaving him in critical condition, according to the police and a family member.

The boy was in an apartment in the East New York neighborhood with his father and two younger siblings when the attack happened, the police said.

He was initially taken to Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center with grave wounds to his head and neck and was later transferred to Long Island Jewish Medical Center.


The boy’s uncle, Mohammed Wilson, said he received a panicked call from his half brother Joel Rivera at 6:46 p.m. “He called me crying and screaming, ‘The dog bit my baby! The dog bit my baby!’” Mr. Wilson said.

Mr. Wilson, 41, said that he sprinted the two blocks to his brother’s apartment and found a terrifying scene. His nephew, Jeremiah Rivera, was lying face down on the floor, with the flesh torn off much of his cheeks and forehead.

“I pray that boy lives, but he won’t have a face anymore,” he said.

The pit bulls were relatively small, according to Mr. Wilson, and had been brought home by Mr. Rivera about two months ago. They were generally kept in a cage and taken out only for walks, he said.

“The dogs are usually so friendly and great with the kids,” Mr. Wilson said, still trembling from the events.

Mr. Wilson added that his half brother tried to be very responsible with the animals. The dogs had recently been vaccinated and registered, he said.

The police cordoned off the block around the modest brick building on Riverdale Avenue where the attack had occurred. The dogs were removed in cages by animal control authorities and taken to their building in Manhattan.

Jeremiah’s younger brother and sister were not seriously wounded, according to Mr. Wilson and the police.

Missie Dunham, 31, said she had often see Mr. Rivera walking around with the three children, playing with them and buying them food.

“I feel for that family,” said Ms. Dunham, an ultrasound technician. “He seemed to really love those kids.”

On Monday, a 75-year-old woman in Queens was killed when her mastiff, one of several dogs she kept in her apartment, bit her torso and arms repeatedly. The mastiff was known around her Long Island City neighborhood as an aggressive animal.

(NY Times - Feb 17, 2017)


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