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A 5 year old boy wandered into his aunt’s bedroom and was bit by her Pit Bull. The Pit Bull attacked the young boy, biting off his penis. Now the boy likely faces continuing surgery.
The boy was visiting with his Grandmother went to climb in bed with his sleeping 13 year old aunt and the dog. The protective 6 year old female Pit, name Momma, then turned on the boy and severed his genitals.
The boy was rushed to the Bronx hospital then transferred to another area hospital, where he is now recovering.
His Grandmother, Marissa Pettiford; and Vernon Jackson who is the father of the 13 year old girl, were charged with having an unlicensed dangerous dog…which is a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail. Marissa, Jackson, and the boy’s mother, whose name is being withheld due to her son being the victim, were also charged with allowing a dog to commit a nuisance.
Jackson is 45 years old and lives in a different apartment was ordered held on $15,000 bail on Thursday. The dog was euthanized the same day at the city’s animal shelter. The dog was at Marissa’s apartment for the weekend at the request of her daughter.
Marissa said that “Momma” had been there for three days and had no problems.
The incident happened November 10th.
Later Criminal Complaint says the young boy:
was savagely bitten by the pit bull, suffering severe bite wounds, lacerations and a severed penis.
According to DogsBite.org the Pit Bull breed has a reputation for viciousness, which some argue that is unfair, is responsible for most fatal dog attacks in the United States.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that every year dogs bite 4.5 million Americans, which half of those are Children, most ages 5 to 9 years old. Around 885,000 people bitten require medical attention, which half of those are children.
Police described the Pettiford Pit Bull as an “unlicensed, dangerous and vicious” dog in the complaint. Jackson had told officers that he had secured the dog in the rear bedroom in the apartment. The complaint says that Pettiford told the boy “multiple times not to approach the dog because the dog was dangerous.”
Marissa disputes the police account, she claims that she never told the boy to stay away from the dog because the dog lives with Jackson and she never exhibited signs that she was dangerous, which they’ve owned her for six years.
Pettiford has owned a pit bull in the past, she also has an 11 year old son, said that the young boys movements probably made the dog feel threatened. “Momma” had come to visit on other occasions and the family had always felt comfortable and safe around her.
Pettiford says “It was a family accident, it’s very tragic.”
Daniel A. Gibalevich
DAG Law Firm
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