Girl, 7, Rushed to Hospital After Being Bitten by Dog

The girl was on her way to her babysitter's home

By Andrew Siff
|  Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012  |  Updated 8:55 AM EDT
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A 7-year-old girl was taken to the hospital with serious injuries after being attacked by a pit bull in a Harlem building, authorities said. Andrew Siff talked to the young victim and her mother.

Andrew Siff

A 7-year-old girl was taken to the hospital with serious injuries after being attacked by a pit bull in a Harlem building, authorities said. Andrew Siff talked to the young victim and her mother.

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A 7-year-old girl was taken to the hospital with serious injuries after being attacked by a pit bull in a Harlem building, authorities said.

Tatiana Quinones was on her way to her babysitter's home Monday after school with her older brother, and was getting out of the elevator at the Lincoln Houses at 2130 Madison Ave. when the pit bull seized on her.

"When they were coming out of the elevator, the dog attacked her," Quinones' mother, Clarissa Mejia, told NBC 4 New York. "The dog wouldn't let go of her."

The little girl told NBC 4 New York that when "the dog stopped biting me, it was bleeding."

Quinones' left arm needed stitches, and she still has large scratches across her neck.

Mejia said her daughter, who is in the second grade, remained calm during the ordeal.

"She's really brave," said Mejia. "She didn't cry. All she's worried about is how is she going to do her homework."

Police carried away two pit bulls from the scene in a crate, and later charged two adult brothers in the incident.

The 28-year-old man who owned the dogs was charged with a violation  -- no pit bulls allowed in New York City Housing Authority buildings.

The 30-year-old brother who was handling the dogs at the time of the attack was charged with reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. 

Neighbors said the pit bulls had always been well-trained and well-behaved before Monday's incident. One witness said the dog that bit Quinones was lunging for the girl's ice cream.

"The dog didn't have an intention to bite her," said neighbor Tanya James. "He was always around kids. I doubt that the dog really meant to hurt her."

The building's supervisor said he is sympathetic.

"He's not a bad person," security coordinator Anthony Martinez said of the dog's owner. "People like to have dogs. Dog is a best friend. I have a dog. My dog is my best friend."

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