A man has been arrested and three dogs have been euthanized after the fatal mauling of a two-year-old child in Concord last week. The man was the step-grandfather of the two-year child. The attack involved the family’s three pit bulls. The child was apparently attacked when he walked into the garage, where the dogs were kept. There’s no information yet on why the dogs attacked, but the animals severely mauled the child. He sustained fatal injuries.
There were several other people in the house at the time of the attack. The boy’s grandmother, 19-year-old uncle as well as a four-year-old brother were also in the house at the time of the attack. None of them were injured. According to neighbors, the house was occupied by an extended family that had just moved in about a year ago. Police are trying to determine if the 13-year-old cousin of the victim and a four-year-old brother should be placed with Child protection services.
The stepfather of the child has been arrested. Several neighbors have now come forward to say that they have had frightening experiences with the dogs. In at least one case, a 50-year-old woman was startled when one of the pit bulls ran out of the yard and into her driveway. At least one other neighbor said she has called animal services about one of the dogs. None of these earlier incidents involved injuries.
This fatal dog attack comes five years after another fatal incident involving a child in the same city. In 2005, an 11-year-old boy sustained fatal injuries in an attack involving pit bulls in Concord. Then, the Concord city Council looked into a ban on pit bulls within city limits. However, California law does not permit the banning of specific dog breeds and that proposal was put on the back burner.
There have been several serious dog bite attacks involving pit bulls in Contra Costa County. According to Mercury news,
- In 2008, a six-year-old child in Pittsburgh suffered serious facial injuries during an attack involving a neighbor’s pit bull.
- In 2005, an 11-year-old boy in Concorde suffered a broken leg and severe bite wounds, and a ripped stomach in a dog bite involving his neighbor’s pit bulls.
- In June 2004, an 82-year-old woman in Concorde suffered more than 100 bite wounds involving an attack by a neighbor’s pit bulls.
- In 2001, a three-year-old girl in Pittsburgh suffered serious facial injuries in an attack involving her uncle’s pit bull. That same year, a 10-year-old boy had his ears ripped off and flesh torn from his face and scalp in an attack involving three pit bulls in Richmond.
An overwhelming majority of the more than 1.4 million dog bites that occur in the US every year, involve children below the age of five. California dog bite lawyers find that children are typical targets, because they’re more trusting, and they may not be entirely sure how to behave around dogs.
The Reeves Law Group is not representing any party in the matters discussed in this posting.