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San Diego deputies say dog attack kills infant

The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Jun. 15, 2012 - 5:51 am


article

LEMON GROVE, Calif. -- San Diego County sheriff's deputies say a baby died about an hour after being attacked by at least one dog.

Lt. Larry Nesbit tells U-T San Diego ( http://bit.ly/M3Z477) deputies were called to a Lemon Grove home around 5 p.m. Thursday. He says deputies found a woman holding an injured 8-month-old boy. Lemon Grove Fire Department paramedics treated the boy and took him to Rady Children's Hospital, where he died.

Animal control officers removed three pit bulls from the home but investigators say they don't know which one or how many took part in the attack on the boy.

The medical examiner has not yet released the victim's name.

Lemon Grove is eight miles east of San Diego.


8-month-old boy dies after dog attack near San Diego

By NBC News and msnbc.com staff



Officers restrain one of three dogs seized after a fatal attack on an 8-month-old
infant in Lemon Grove, Calif., Thursday evening.


article


An 8-month-old infant boy was mauled and killed by at least one dog Thursday evening in a San Diego suburb, according to the county Sheriff's Department.

Up to three dogs may have been involved in the attack, which happened just before 5 p.m. on the 3000 block of West Street in Lemon Grove, east of downtown San Diego, NBCSanDiego.com reported.

The circumstances of the attack were unclear, but deputies arrived within four minutes of getting the call, San Diego sheriff's homicide Lt. Larry Nesbit told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The child was pronounced dead at Rady's Children Hospital, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Authorities confirmed that three pit bulls were hauled away from the scene by Animal Control officers, NBCSanDiego.com reported.

"They were aggressive," Nesbit told NBCSanDiego.com. "They were restrained by animal control officers with the tools they have."

It's not clear if the boy's family owned the dogs or if the attack happened at their home.

"I can’t even imagine losing a child and to know that a family pet did it," next-door neighbor Regina Marlow told NBCSanDiego.com. "That’s horrific. I can’t even imagine what the family would be going through."

Neighbor Deirdra Canty said the dogs had been known to attack cats before.

"I don’t think that a dog like a pit bull, rottweiler, large dogs should be around little infants," Canty said.

 

Investigators Seal Case in Dog-Bite Death, Decline to ID Baby

It's not yet known if the incident will result in criminal charges being filed.
June 15, 2012

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Detectives sought Friday to determine what led to the apparent dog-bite death of an 8-month-old boy at his family's East County apartment, where three pit bulls were later impounded.

The fatal attack by at least one of the terriers in the 3500 block of West Street in Lemon Grove was reported shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, sheriff's Lt. Larry Nesbit said.

Deputies and paramedics arrived to find a woman holding the seriously injured infant. The boy was taken to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

"Because the incident involved the sudden or unexpected death of an infant, the sheriff's homicide detail was requested and assumed the investigation," Nesbit said.

Authorities declined to immediately release the victim's name. An investigator with the county Medical Examiner's Office, which generally identifies deceased people publicly following family notification, said the case had been "sealed" from disclosure at the request of sheriff's officials.

Investigators interviewed residents of the rental unit where the attack occurred, and animal-control officers took custody of the three male dogs, all of which lived there, the lieutenant said.

The canines were taken to a shelter in Chula Vista, according to Anne Steinberger, communications manager for that South Bay city, which provides animal-control services to Lemon Grove.

The dogs, which are between 3 and 5 years old, will undergo a standard 10-day rabies quarantine at the Beyer Way pound, Steinberger said. How long they will be held thereafter and what ultimately becomes of them will depend on the findings of sheriff's detectives.

If the animals are classified as "dangerous dogs" due to the fatality, they will be euthanized, Steinberger said.

How many of the three canines were involved in inflicting the child's injuries remained unclear this afternoon.

"We don't know if it was one or all of them," Steinberger said.

Shelter officials also had yet to determine if the dogs were neutered or properly licensed. The Chula Vista Animal Care Facility had received no prior reports of viciousness or aggressiveness on the part of the three pit bulls, Steinberger said.

It was also unclear if criminal charges would result.

Steve Walker, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office, said the child's death "remains under investigation by (the sheriff's department), with no timeline for them to turn the case over to us."

The probe could take weeks or even months to complete, depending on whether extensive laboratory work turns out to be necessary, Nesbit said.

The sheriff's lieutenant said officials with his agency planned to meet with legal counsel early next week to determine if and when they can release the victim's name, since there are statutory restrictions on disclosure of the identities of minors involved in potential criminal cases.

Over the past year, several other pit-bull attacks have been reported in the San Diego area, including one that involved the severe mauling and eventual death of a retirement-age woman.

Last June, 75-year-old Emako Mendoza of Paradise Hills was attacked by a pair of the barrel-chested shorthaired terriers in her fenced yard when she went outside to get her morning newspaper. The dogs, which lived next door, inflicted such severe injuries that doctors had to amputate part of her left arm and, ultimately, both her legs.

Mendoza died of complications from the attack on Christmas Eve.

The owners of the canines, Alba Cornelio, 40, and her 20-year-old daughter, Carla, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, along with a felony count of owning a vicious animal causing death and six misdemeanor code violations, including failing to protect the public from a dog and owning a dangerous dog.

The Cornelios, who are scheduled to go on trial next month, each face up to four years and eight months in prison if convicted, according to prosecutors.

Last November, two brothers in their early 20s were jogging in Valley Center when a pack of dogs attacked them. Four involved pit-bull puppies were euthanized over the incident at the request of their owner.

Last month, a pit bull went after a woman while she was visiting a friend's home in the 2300 block of Highview Lane in Spring Valley, sheriff's Lt. Paul Robbins said. She was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening wounds to her arms and legs. Animal-control personnel impounded the dog, according to Robbins.

Dan DeSousa, a public information officer for the county Animal Services Department, said his agency responds to somewhat more dog-bite reports involving pit bulls than other breeds, but added that those higher numbers could stem from the wide popularity of the energetic, large-headed terriers.

"We are of the opinion that it's not the breed (to blame for an attack), it's the owner of that particular dog," DeSousa said.

Regardless, any attempt to regulate ownership or sale of pit bulls could not occur in California, since the state has prohibited "breed specific" legislation regarding dogs, the spokesman said.

 

Baby dies after dog bite in Lemon Grove

By Debbi Baker and Kristina Davis
9:28 p.m., June 14, 2012
Updated 6:45 p.m. , June 15, 2012

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One of three pit bulls impounded at the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility after an
8-month-old boy died Thursday from a dog bite at the Lemon Grove apartment where
he lived with his mother and her roommate. — John Gastaldo

LEMON GROVE — Authorities impounded three dogs believed to be pit bulls after an 8-month-old boy died Thursday from a dog bite at the Lemon Grove apartment where he lived with his mother and her female roommate.

The dogs, all males, are being quarantined at the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility while the Sheriff’s Department investigates the incident, Anne Steinberger, a spokeswoman for the city of Chula Vista, said Friday.

The attack occurred inside a small Lemon Grove apartment on West Street north of Broadway, officials said. Steinberger said it was her understanding that the dogs belonged to the baby’s mother.

Sheriff’s deputies and Lemon Grove paramedics arrived at the apartment within four minutes of receiving the 911 call at 4:52 p.m., sheriff’s homicide Lt. Larry Nesbit said.

They found the mother cradling her injured son in her arms, Nesbit said. He said the boy was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he died shortly after 6 p.m.

Authorities have not released the names of the boy and his mother.


Flowers and a candle have been left on the doorstep
of a Lemon Grove apartment where a baby died from
a dog bite. Pauline Repar

Joseph Foppiano, who has lived for about a year in an apartment complex next to the mother’s apartment building, said the woman’s son was a beautiful little boy. Foppiano also said he had met the dogs, and he described them as “friendly as can be.”

Another neighbor told 10News that two of the dogs had previously killed two cats in the neighborhood.

Two of the animals are believed to be 2 to 3 years old, and the third is 5 to 6 years old, Steinberger said.

As in any bite case, the dogs are being tested for rabies and will be quarantined for 10 days. If they are deemed to be dangerous, which Steinberger said will most likely be the case, they will be euthanized. That determination will be based on the findings of the sheriff’s investigation, she said.

“We do not know what happened in that room,” Steinberger said.
One of three pit bulls impounded at the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility after an 8-month-old boy died Thursday from a dog bite at the Lemon Grove apartment where he lived with his mother and her roommate.
Flowers and a candle have been left on the doorstep of a Lemon Grove apartment where a baby died from a dog bite. Pauline Repard

It has not been decided which dog or how many of the animals bit the boy.

Steinberger said the Chula Vista animal shelter has not had any previous calls about the animals involved in the fatal incident. Lemon Grove contracts with Chula Vista for animal services, as does National City and Imperial Beach.

So far this year, the facility has handled 26 dogs bite cases, Steinberger said. Of the 133 dogs that are currently in the shelter, 20 are pit bulls.

 

Name released of infant killed by family pit bull

Valley News
Friday, June 15th, 2012
Issue 24, Volume 16

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SAN DIEGO - Authorities released the name today of an infant killed by a pit bull last week at his East County home.

The terrier attacked 8-month-old Tyzhel Latella McWilliams at an apartment in the 3500 block of West Street in Lemon Grove shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, sheriff's Lt. Larry Nesbit said.

Deputies and paramedics arrived to find a woman holding the gravely injured baby, who was pronounced dead about an hour later at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.

Animal control officers took custody of three male pit bulls that lived at the residence, the lieutenant said. Detectives have determined that only one of the animals attacked the boy, according to Nesbit. That dog was euthanized this morning.

Since the other two terriers were not involved in the fatality and have no known history of vicious behavior, they were released back to their owner, said Anne Steinberger, communications manager for the city of Chula Vista, which provides animal-control services to Lemon Grove.

There have been no arrests in connection with the child's death, Nesbit said.

"This case will ultimately be submitted to the district attorney for review," he said.

It could take sheriff's detectives weeks or even months to complete their investigation, according to Nesbit.

Pit Bulls Impounded Following Fatal Attack on Baby

LEMON GROVE - Detectives sought today to determine what led to the apparent dog-bite death of an 8-month-old boy at his family's East County apartment, where three pit bulls were later impounded.

The fatal attack by at least one of the terriers in the 3500 block of West Street in Lemon Grove was reported shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, sheriff's Lt. Larry Nesbit said.

Deputies and paramedics arrived to find a woman holding the seriously injured infant. The boy was taken to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

"Because the incident involved the sudden or unexpected death of an infant, the sheriff's homicide detail was requested and assumed the investigation," Nesbit said.

Authorities declined to immediately release the victim's name. An investigator with the county Medical Examiner's Office, which generally identifies deceased people publicly following family notification, said the case had been "sealed" from disclosure at the request of sheriff's officials.

Investigators interviewed residents of the rental unit where the attack occurred, and animal-control officers took custody of the three male dogs, all of which lived there, the lieutenant said.

The canines were taken to a shelter in Chula Vista, according to Anne Steinberger, communications manager for that South Bay city, which provides animal-control services to Lemon Grove.

The dogs, which are between 3 and 5 years old, will undergo a standard 10-day rabies quarantine at the Beyer Way pound, Steinberger said. How long they will be held thereafter and what ultimately becomes of them will depend on the findings of sheriff's detectives.

If the animals are classified as "dangerous dogs" due to the fatality, they will be euthanized, Steinberger said.

How many of the three canines were involved in inflicting the child's injuries remained unclear this afternoon.

"We don't know Advertisement
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[ Pala Mesa Resort ] if it was one or all of them," Steinberger said.

Shelter officials also had yet to determine if the dogs were neutered or properly licensed. The Chula Vista Animal Care Facility had received no prior reports of viciousness or aggressiveness on the part of the three pit bulls, Steinberger said.

It was also unclear if criminal charges would result.

Steve Walker, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office, said the child's death "remains under investigation by (the sheriff's department), with no timeline for them to turn the case over to us."

The probe could take weeks or even months to complete, depending on whether extensive laboratory work turns out to be necessary, Nesbit said.

The sheriff's lieutenant said officials with his agency planned to meet with legal counsel early next week to determine if and when they can release the victim's name, since there are statutory restrictions on disclosure of the identities of minors involved in potential criminal cases.

Over the past year, several other pit-bull attacks have been reported in the San Diego area, including one that involved the severe mauling and eventual death of a retirement-age woman.

Last June, 75-year-old Emako Mendoza of Paradise Hills was attacked by a pair of the barrel-chested shorthaired terriers in her fenced yard when she went outside to get her morning newspaper. The dogs, which lived next door, inflicted such severe injuries that doctors had to amputate part of her left arm and, ultimately, both her legs.

Mendoza died of complications from the attack on Christmas Eve.

The owners of the canines, Alba Cornelio, 40, and her 20-year-old daughter, Carla, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, along with a felony count of owning a vicious animal causing death and six misdemeanor code violations, including failing to protect the public from a dog and owning a dangerous dog.

The Cornelios, who are scheduled to go on trial next month, each face up to four years and eight months in prison if convicted, according to prosecutors.

Last November, two brothers in their early 20s were jogging in Valley Center when a pack of dogs attacked them. Four involved pit-bull puppies were euthanized over the incident at the request of their owner.

Last month, a pit bull went after a woman while she was visiting a friend's home in the 2300 block of Highview Lane in Spring Valley, sheriff's Lt. Paul Robbins said. She was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening wounds to her arms and legs. Animal-control personnel impounded the dog, according to Robbins.

Dan DeSousa, a public information officer for the county Animal Services Department, said his agency responds to somewhat more dog-bite reports involving pit bulls than other breeds, but added that those higher numbers could stem from the wide popularity of the energetic, large-headed terriers.

"We are of the opinion that it's not the breed (to blame for an attack), it's the owner of that particular dog," DeSousa said.

Regardless, any attempt to regulate ownership or sale of pit bulls could not occur in California, since the state has prohibited "breed specific" legislation regarding dogs, the spokesman said.

 

 

 

PIT BULLS DEBATED AFTER BABY DIES FOLLOWING DOG BITE
Three canines impounded, likely will be euthanized

By Kristina Davis & Debbi Baker • U-T
12:01 a.m., June 16, 2012
Updated 9:11 p.m. , June 15, 2012


article

Three pit bulls were impounded and likely will be euthanized following the death of an 8-month-old boy who was bitten Thursday at the Lemon Grove apartment he shared with his mother and her roommate.

The infant’s death is the second involving pit bulls in the county in the past year and is reigniting the debate over what critics call a “dangerous” dog breed.

Authorities have not described the circumstances of the attack or how the boy was being supervised at the time.

Sheriff’s deputies and Lemon Grove paramedics arrived at the small one-story apartment on West Street north of Broadway within four minutes of receiving the 911 call at 4:52 p.m., homicide Lt. Larry Nesbit said.

They found the mother cradling her injured son in her arms, Nesbit said. The boy was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he died shortly after 6 p.m.

Authorities have not released the mother’s name, but Anika Grothe, a case manager who works with a nonprofit that helps struggling women, knows her and her son, Tyzhel.

“This is a woman who has had nothing but hard times, and here she is trying to redo her life and something like this happens,” Grothe said. “This family has nothing, and we need to help them bury baby Tyzhel.”

The mother, the case worker said, has experienced abuse and homelessness, and was working to provide for herself and her baby.

“She is absolutely devastated,” Grothe said.

A woman who answered the door at the apartment Friday declined to be interviewed. A bouquet of multicolored flowers lay on the doorstep.

The three male dogs involved in the attack are being quarantined at the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility while the Sheriff’s Department investigates, said Anne Steinberger, a city of Chula Vista spokeswoman.

The dogs are believed to be owned by the baby’s mother or her roommate.

Joseph Foppiano, who has lived for about a year in an apartment complex next to the mother’s building, said the woman’s son was a beautiful little boy. Foppiano also said he had met the dogs, and he described them as “friendly as can be.”

Another neighbor told 10News that two of the dogs had previously killed two cats in the neighborhood.

Two of the animals are believed to be 2 to 3 years old, and the third is 5 to 6 years old, Steinberger said.

As in any bite case, the dogs are being tested for rabies and will be quarantined for at least 10 days.

If they are deemed to be dangerous, which Steinberger said will most likely be the case, they will be euthanized. That determination will be based on the findings of the sheriff’s investigation, she said.

“We do not know what happened in that room,” Steinberger said.

“Obviously, the worst possible thing happened. We will do everything possible to protect the public,” she said.

It has not been decided which dog or how many of the animals bit the boy.

Steinberger said the Chula Vista animal shelter has not had any previous calls about the animals involved in the fatal incident. Lemon Grove contracts with Chula Vista for animal services, as do National City and Imperial Beach.

 


Infant Attacked by Pit Bull Identified, Dog Put to Sleep
Detectives determined only one dog was involved in the death

By Monica Garske, Lauren Steussy and Nicole Gonzales
| Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 | Updated 4:04 PM PDT

article


An infant boy was mauled and killed by up to three dogs Thursday evening. Nicole Gonzales spoke to neighbors, horrified by the attack.

The dog responsible for mauling to death an 8-month-old infant last week was euthanized, Animal Control officials said.

Authorities first said the dog attack involved three pitbulls just before 5 p.m. on the 3500-block of West Street in Lemon Grove on Thursday.

After an investigation of the incident, detectives determined only one of the three pitbulls seized by animal control authorities was involved in the child's death.

That dog was put down Tuesday morning, a Chula Vista Animal Control spokesperson told NBC 7 San Diego. The other two were returned to the owner.

The name of the baby killed is Tyzhel Latella McWilliams, according a statement from the Sheriff's Department released Tuesday.

When deputies arrived to the home, a woman was holding an injured 8-month-old baby boy. Deputies requested homicide investigators at the scene.

By Thursday night, sheriffs confirmed the infant involved in the dog attack had died at 6:06 p.m., shortly after being transported to Rady Children’s Hospital.

As of Friday morning, no arrests were made in the case, said Lt. Larry Nesbit with the Sheriff's Department.

The case has been submitted to the District Attorney's office for review, but animal control did not recommend any charges.

Neighbor Regina Marlow said she was shocked when they found out about the attack.

"I can’t even imagine losing a child and to know that a family pet did it," Marlow said. "That’s horrific. I can’t even imagine what the family would be going through."

Another neighbor Deirdra Canty said the dogs have been known to attack cats before.

"I don’t think that a dog like a pit bull, rottweiler, large dogs should be around little infants," Canty said.

This is the youngest victim of a fatal dog attack that the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is aware of, Nesbit said.

"They were aggressive," said Nesbit. "They were restrained by animal control officers with the tools they have."

Dogs Deserve Better, Inc. is a 501c3 national nonprofit organization.Parents Against Dog Chaining is currently a program of Dogs Deserve Better, and as such all donations are tax-deductible according to IRS guidelines. All funds donated to the Parents Against Dog Chaining program will initially go into the DDB general fund account; however, they will be earmarked and used for Parents Against Dog Chaining materials and campaigns.

Special thanks to Emily Pennel, who faithfully catalogs attacks on her informative chained dog site, www.unchainyourdog.org.

CONTACT: Beth at info@parentsagainstdogchaining.org or Tamira C. Thayne founder of
Parents Against Dog Chaining and Dogs Deserve Better at info@dogsdeservebetter.org
or at 877-636-1408


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