Police Shoot Dogs Mauling 10-Year-Old Child Left Alone in Newark Home

Thursday, Feb 13, 2014  |  Updated 8:13 AM EDT
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Police Shoot Dogs Mauling Child in Newark

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A 10-year-old child was mauled by two pit bulls at a Newark, N.J. apartment Wednesday morning and police shot the dogs when they responded to the call for help.

Newark Police said officers responded at about 11:30 a.m. to the home on Hawkins Court after a neighbor heard screams and broke down the door to find a child being attacked by dogs.

The neighbor, Robert Michael Ricks, said "it was something you think you would only see in movies."

"It was horrific. Very much horrific. Basically they were having him for dinner," Ricks told NBC 4 New York. 

Ricks said he distracted the dogs with a chair and the boy ran downstairs, but the dogs ran after the child and continued the attack. 

Officers arriving on the scene say the pit bulls lunged at them, and they shot both dogs. 

The child, who police say was at home alone, was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

His father was arrested on a charge of child endangerment, the Essex County prosecutor's office said.  

--Michael George contributed to this report. 

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