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Pit bull attacks Norco child; neighbor intervenes

May 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 19-month-old toddler survived an attack by the family pit bull in her home on 6th Street and Hillside Avenue in Norco.

Elizabeth Peak says she was babysitting her friend's 19-month-old daughter when the family's pit bull "Diamond" suddenly attacked and clamped down on her leg.

Peak, who is deaf, but reads lips, showed how she struggled to pull the child locked in the dog's powerful jaws. She tried to kick the dog, but it did not let go. She then began screaming for help.

"He pulls back and I see the baby going like this all over the yard, and I'm kicking the dog as I am running and hitting the dog I start screaming for help," said Peak.

Next-door neighbor Larry Gordon was at home when he heard the screams for help.

"I saw the lady, the young lady screaming and the dog running back and forth with something in its mouth, and I thought, 'I know they have a baby. They have only lived here for a week or two,'" said Gordon.

Gordon says without thinking he vaulted over the 5-foot fence and charged the dog with a stick. He says despite repeated blows and kicks the dog wouldn't let go.

The dog flung and dragged the child across the yard. Gordon then grabbed the pit bull and wrestled its jaws open to release the child.

"The baby would look at me and she would scream, and then she would be quiet. She had dirt in her face. I didn't see any marks on the face, but I could be wrong," said Gordon.

"I grabbed the dog with my hand, both hands, one hand on its jaw and the other the top of the jaw, and pried it loose," said Gordon. "I yelled at the lady to come and get the baby and take it away."

Emergency crews rushed the toddler to Corona Regional Medical Center. Her condition was not released.

Peak said the dog has been with the child's mother for three years, and this is the first time she's seen the dog act out.

"Honestly, that dog turned," said Peak. "I've never seen it bite ever."

Norco Animal Control Services was called into to take the dog and quarantine it. Peak says she had concerns about the dog, but felt sure the pit bull had been well-trained by the child's mother.

The shelter was unavailable for comment on the future of the dog due to the Monday holiday.


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