A dog has been euthanized after it attacked five people in New Jersey Tuesday morning, biting a 10-year-old boy and his family and then mauling a woman in an apartment parking lot when they opened the door to get it out, authorities say.
The dog was euthanized late Tuesday afternoon, Neptune police say. Its carcass is being tested for diseases.
Officials say the boy's uncle had just gotten the pit bull the night before. The former owner, a friend of the uncle, gave the uncle the dog two days after the canine bit his wife, though it wasn't clear if the uncle knew that prior.
The uncle went to stay at his sister's place at the Brighton Arms apartment complex in Neptune City and brought the dog along with him Monday night. The next morning, the 10-year-old boy asked his uncle to see the new pup. When the uncle opened the bedroom door, the dog jumped at the child, biting his arm, and attacking the uncle and the boy's mother as well, officials said.
Someone managed to open the front door of the apartment and the dog ran out, pouncing on a woman in the complex parking lot moments after she had dropped off her baby for day care at another unit, officials said.
The mauled woman's nephew heard her screams for help and ran out of their apartment, heroically jumping on the dog and pulling it off her, police said.
"I was lying down in my room, I heard somebody yelling -- it was my auntie," said Carl Gaunchier, 22.
Neptune police officer Alexander Parisi arrived to help Gaunchier corral the raging dog, then treated the severely injured woman, who had just dropped off her 1-year-old daughter at day care.
She was taken to the hospital and is now recovering from deep wounds to her arms and back. She says she's grateful for her nephew. Gaunchier suffered just minor scratches, though he did go to the hospital for a rabies check.
Three of the other victims also went to the hospital; they were expected to be OK. Meanwhile, police are calling Ganchier a hero.
Neptune City Public Safety Director Edward Kirschenbaum said if Ganchier's aunt had been running a few minutes later with her baby, the infant could have been severely injured or killed.
The dog is in the custody of the SPCA.