Attacking Dogs Were Puppies
UPDATE 09/21/08: The young boy remains hospitalized after undergoing plastic surgery. Trayshawn Toliver's family was surprised that pit bulls could have inflicted such damage. Unfortunately, this is true with most victims' families -- one can't believe pit bull injury until one sees it. The family is in for a bigger surprise when they learn how much treating the injury will cost.
If the attack occurred "on property" (the dog owner's property), medical reimbursement (civil liability) is often placed into question. Illinois is a strict liability state, but the law also states, "If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be..."
Being on a neighbor's property isn't always "lawful."
The incident began when Trayshawn was retrieving a ball that had gone across a fence into a neighbor's yard. The boy gained access to the yard because the fence had been partially knocked down after a recent storm. By the time officers rescued the boy, both of his legs had been mauled from his thighs down; one with a gash so deep it exposed muscle tissue.
The article does not clarify exactly whose property the attack occurred upon.
09/20/08: Police Shoot, Kill 2 Pit Bulls
Chicago, IL - Two of three pit bulls were shot by police after mauling a 6-year-old boy tonight in the West Side's Garfield Park neighborhood. Authorities say Trayshawn Toliver is in serious but stable condition at Mt. Sinai Hospital, and that he was bitten so severely that some of the bone in his leg was exposed. Harrison District officers said they witnessed the attack.
Trayshawn had been playing with friends in a vacant lot when the dogs in the yard next door got through a storm-damaged fence and got to the child. "I jumped the fence, grabbed my little brother and I was turning him to get away from the dog, and I was punching the dog," said Demond Black. A neighbor and officers also came to Trayshawn's aid.
Chicago Police Sgt. Adam Zelitzky said when they tried to lift the child over the fence, two of the three dogs were still clamped onto him. Officers attempting to stop the pit bulls from attacking the boy were forced to "destroy" two of the dogs. Witnesses said police did everything they could to control the dogs, including using pepper spray, before they used their firearms.
This situation ought to justify using a firearm immediately -- no precondition of using pepper spray required -- assuming the situation allowed for it. The video clip said that people were hitting the dogs with 2x4s and if responders had not pulled the child over the fence when they did, the boy would be dead.
In other news
4-Year Old Attacked by Pit Bull in Rochester
Rochester, NY - A 4-year-old Rochester boy was seriously injured after an attack by a pit bull. The child was with an uncle when the pair stopped at a home on Garfield Street so the uncle could speak with a friend. The child was on a bicycle on a walkway leading to the house's front porch, when a 4-year-old pit bull forced its way through a closed door and attacked the child.
Sgt. Mark Beaudrault said that throughout the incident, the dog was tied to a leash that was attached to the porch. The leash was long enough to reach the child. The child suffered a serious injury to the face and was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital. The dog was impounded by city officials. For the purposes of liability, New York is a "one bite" state with several legal twists.
Pit Bull Attacks Woman Walking Her Dog
Putnam County, IN - Bobbi Belongia, 23, was walking her dog near her home when a loose pit bull ran up behind her and attacked her dog. Belongia pulled on the leash of her dog to stop the attack. After a passing motorist stopped to help her, the pit bull bit into her left ankle. The motorist separated the dogs by hitting the pit bull over the head repeatedly with a flashlight.
Belongia was transported to Putnam County Hospital and was forced to undergo surgery to repair the wounds caused to her ankle. According to Indiana State Police Sergeant Rich Myers, Belongia's dog received minor injuries to its head. Myers also said that the owner of the pit bull requested their dog be transported to Hendrick's County Animal Control and euthanized.