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I.E. boy dies from family pit bull attack

May 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 2-year-old boy has died after being mauled by his family's pit bull. Police told Eyewitness News the boy and his father were playing with the dog moments before the attack.The attack happened Thursday about 7:20 p.m. in the back yard of the family's home on the 1500 block of W. Kendall Drive in San Bernardino.

The boy's mother saw it all happen and quickly called 911.

Even though only one of the family's two pit bulls attacked the boy, they were both placed under 10-day quarantine at the San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control facility. It's possible the animal that will be put down for killing the boy, but a final decision was not made.

The pit bull doesn't look very good, but the 17-month-old pit bull mauled 2-year-old Nathan Aguirre.

As officers responded to the call of a child attacked by a pit bull, guns were drawn as they approached the home to remove the two animals.

"That's why they're called animals," said San Bernardino Police Sgt. Gary Robertson. "You just never know how they're going to react. Even though you feel comfortable around your animals, your pets, they are animals and how they react can be violent sometimes."

And that's exactly what happened Thursday night. The child was reportedly playing in the yard with his family and the two dogs. The father went inside the house for just a few moments, but that's all it took.

"The mom came out to check on the toddler, found the toddler in the mouth of the pit bull," said Robertson. "She then yelled at the pit bull, who dropped the child. The mom was able to retrieve the child and run to the house and notify authorities."

The boy was taken to Children's Hospital at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He was pronounced dead early Friday morning.

San Bernardino Police say at this point it does not appear there's any criminal culpability on the part of the parents, but the case will be turned over to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office.

"We talked to family and neighbors in the area and there had been no previous incidents of aggression at all," said Robertson. "The children had gotten along well with the pit bulls as well as with the family. There's nothing to indicate anything else. This just appears to be an unfortunate, tragic accident."

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