Special needs toddler died after pit bulls attacked him
A 2-year-old special needs toddler, whom family identified only as Daniel, and his four older siblings were being cared for at their babysitter’s house in Gilbert, Arizona when three adult pit bulls began fighting in the house.
Somehow the boy got in the middle of the dogfight, and the pit bulls turned on the child.
The babysitter, a 28-year-old female, attempted to intervene and pull the pit bulls off the child, but sadly, he had already been mortally injured.
“He’s barely breathing,” she told a 911 operator, according to a recording of the emergency call. “The dogs attacked him. … His lips are turning blue.”
Emergency crews arrived moments later. He was later pronounced dead after being rushed to a nearby hospital.
The babysitter was wounded and underwent surgery. She has been listed in stable condition.“She did have some lacerations to her arms, legs and hands from trying to break up the fight,” said Gilbert Police Sgt. Jesse Sanger.
Investigators are still waiting to interview the boy’s parents and the babysitter.
Babysitter may be charged in tragic accident when her pit bulls attacked a toddler
“Right now we’re looking at it as a tragic terrible accident, but if the investigators get in there and find something, once detectives are done, there’s always a possibility charges could be filed in this case,” Sanger said.
The other kids,who included Daniel’s 9-year-old brothers and two sisters, ages 6 and 7, were staying the weekend with the babysitter. None of the other children were injured in the dogfight.
Their father was in Mesa and their mother was in Flagstaff. She drove back immediately when she learned of what had happened. She said she was so numb after hearing of her son Daniel’s death that she couldn’t think straight.
The pit bulls were taken into custody by Animal Care and Control. Standard protocol calls for the dogs to be held in rabies quarantine for 10 days at the shelter.
Another dog, not involved in the attack, was also taken into custody. Police reported none of the dogs have any history of violent behavior. Neighbors say the pit bulls and other dog are typically kept outside and they’ve never encountered any other problems.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” said one neighbor, “Because they’re very good people. They’re aware of where the children are, what they’re doing. And they take care of disabled children.
“They’re very good people and we’ve known them for a while.”
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