What to Know
- A 4-year-old girl suffered a "major injury" after being attacked by a dog in New York City Wednesday morning, authorities say
- The FDNY says it received a call shortly before 8 a.m. of a girl being bitten by a dog in the area of Huxley Road in Riverdale, in the Bronx
- Witnesses say the girl was taken to the hospital with bites to her face and neck
A 4-year-old girl suffered a "major injury" after being attacked by a dog in New York City Wednesday morning, authorities say.
The FDNY says it received a call shortly before 8 a.m. of a girl being bitten by a dog in the area of Huxley Road in the Riverdale section of the Bronx -- a block and a half away from where the girl apparently lives.
The child was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, and police confirmed she was "severly injured." She was in seriousl but stable condition late Wednesday night.
According to police, although it is early in the investigation, it appears the pit bull escaped from a fenced-in area. Witnesses say the dog then went straight toward the girl.
The dog was taken into animal control's possession. However, it is unclear what will happen to the dog, as a judge will decide its fate.
People in the neighborhood where the incident took place say that they heard a deafening scream. They allegedly came out of their homes to find the 4-year-old was bitten in the face and neck as she was on her way to school along with her 6-year-old brother.
A neighbor said that he saw the dog — along with another — loose in the area outside his house early in the morning, and that the dog came after him. He went inside his house, and then came back out with a baseball bat after hearing the little girl's screams.
"When I ran over there, he was already locked onto the little girl and was kind of like shaking her so I took a few swings on his back to try to get him to let go,” said Bobby Mahoney. He said he hit the dog "15 or 20 times" and it didn't flinch, before finally letting go.
The girl's mother came out and cradled her injured child after the attack, with blood everywhere. The family had moved into the neighborhood within the last few weeks, with the girl's father serving as a United Nations diplomat for the Consul General of Kazakhstan.
The diplomat's office said they were worried the NYPD would not pursue charges against the owners of the dog, a sentiment which neighbors echoed.
Witnesses say they believe the dog belongs to another local family. Authorities say that, at this point, the owners of the dog are not facing any charges because state law mandates an issue such as this be treated as a civil matter.