Randy Bartz says his neighbor's dog that is usually held behind two fences found its way out of not one but two unlatched gates on Wednesday in Maplesville. Bartz says the boxer-pit-mastiff mix was fine until he saw 11-year-old Dustin Kelly riding by on a bike.
"The owner of the dog told the boy to stop, don't move because the dog probably was going to go after him because the dog didn't like bikes, kids on the bikes."
He says what happened next frightened everyone! The dog chased the boy anyway, eventually knocked him over and clamped down on the boy's neck.
"He was really hurt, and I could blood all over his face and down his neck. I told him quick to come over here so I could look at it, and then I realized that the dog had gotten away from the owner again."
He yanked the boy over the fence to protect him while the dog's owner wrestled with the unruly canine. The child was later air-lifted to Children's Hospital.
"It was close to the jugular vein," says Fire Chief Michael Abbott, "and we did not want to take the chance of transporting by ground ambulance that far."
Maplesville Police eventually had to shoot and kill the dog. Bartz says he believes the dog could have killed the boy.
"If it weren't for the owner, it wouldn't have been good. It wouldn't have been good for that little boy at all."
At last check, Kelly was listed in good condition. Attempts to reach his parents were unsuccessful. Maplesville Police do not believe the owner of the dog was at fault. They say he always kept the dog locked up, and they believe children may have left the gate open.