BAYONNE, N.J. — Police shot and killed a pit bull in Bayonne, New Jersey this morning, shortly after it mauled a 5-year-old girl and her father as they walked to kindergarten. A bystander and the dog’s owner also tried to pull the dog back, and they were wounded in the fight.
All were treated and released for their injuries. The little girl is expected to be okay, but she suffered a 2-inch-deep open wound to her head, and punctures on her arm.
“I was just coming from my house, not even 5 seconds, I see the dog come from the next house, flying to us,” said Safwat Shnouda, whose daughter Despina was bitten.
Shnouda claims that the gate to the dog owner’s backyard, on West 20th Street in Bayonne, had been left open.
When the dog’s owner returned home this afternoon, he was bandaged and covered in blood. The first thing he did was put a lock on his fence, before darting inside.
“I’m more than sorry. I’m more than sorry,” he said, before closing the front door.
Neighbors say this was not the first time his dog attacked.
“It happened before. Just a few months before,” said neighbor Zozo Moawab.
“The dog barks all the time. We’re really like, scared to see him because I’m afraid he’s gonna jump the fence,” said another neighbor, Silvia Perez.
It’s a fear that police put to bed this morning. An eyewitness watched as an officer shot and killed the dog.
“Take it away, that’s it. Take that dog away. Why is it living with the people?” Shnouda questioned.
But fellow pit bull owners passing through the neighborhood said that you cannot blame the animal alone.
“The owners,” said Jonathan Vargas, who walked down the block with two pit bulls on Friday afternoon, "It’s how you raise them. It’s not the dogs.”
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s office has not yet filed any charges.