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Detroit Free Press

Uncle of mauled Eastpointe boy warns parents about pit bulls

By CHRISTINA HALL • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • April 23, 2009

An uncle of an Eastpointe boy who was mauled to death Wednesday by the family pit bull urged parents to “get rid” of pit bulls so they or their children don’t become the next victim of a fatal attack.

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“There’s no good to come out of these dogs,” Terrence Lovejoy said today during a news conference at the Eastpointe police station. “It does not have to happen to anyone else.”

Lovejoy’s 11-month-old nephew was mauled by the 5-year-old pit bull, whom Lovejoy’s brother raised from birth, at the family’s home in the 22000 block of Nevada about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday. Lovejoy, along with his nephew’s parents and police, have declined to release the name of the infant or the parents.

The boy was rushed to St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, where he was pronounced dead.

Lovejoy said his brother and sister-in-law, who are in their 40s according to police, have been married about 17 years, and had tried for years to have a child. He said “God blessed” them with a son. They were preparing for his first birthday party on May 3.

The boy’s parents — whom neighbors said they knew only by the first names Earl and Felicia — were in the room when the attack occurred, Lovejoy said.

Lovejoy said the dog “didn’t growl, didn’t bark,” just walked over and grabbed the child, who was standing on a bed. The boy’s father used a handgun to shoot and kill the dog. The gun the father used — a.45-caliber — was registered and he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, police said. He fired eight shots at the dog.

Lovejoy said the dog was kept in the house and was familiar with the couple and the child. He called the incident “a sneak attack the dog did on my nephew.”

Eastpointe Police Lt. Leo Borowsky said the attack remains under investigation and there are no charges at this point. He said his department will talk to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office about whether any charges should be filed.

Borowsky said there is no record of the dog having attacked anyone previously.

But “the dog was not licensed in our city,” Borowsky said.

When asked if the dog was supposed to be licensed in Eastpointe, Borowsky said “yes.”

He said the city has local laws covering vicious dogs. He said police will continue interviewing the family and neighbors to get more information as their investigation continues.

Funeral details for the child still are being worked out, Lovejoy said.

Contact CHRISTINA HALL: 586-826-7265 or chall@freepress.com.



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