Eastpointe baby killed by family pit bull
Posted April 22, 2009
EASTPOINTE — A family is grieving after their pet pit bull killed their baby while the family was at home in the area of Nine Mile and Gratiot April 22.
“The kid would have turned 1 May 3,” Eastpointe Fire Chief Danny Hagen said. “The only way they were able to get the dog to release the (child) was to shoot the dog.
“The dog locked onto the kid’s head,” Hagen said, adding that a child that age has a soft skull. “It’s very fragile. It creates a lot of damage.”
The child’s father used a handgun to shoot the dog when it attacked the baby.
Police were first on the scene; when fire officials arrived, they brought the baby out wrapped in a blanket for the paramedics, who worked to save the child’s life.
“The child succumbed in the hospital,” Hagen said.
“It’s horrible,” he said, adding that for whoever decided to get the dog, “(they’ll) never get rid of the guilt.”
Hagen said there are bad dogs in every breed and some people who have a breed that has a reputation for being dangerous end up with an excellent, well-behaved dog.
Police Detective Lt. Leo Borowski said the dog was not licensed in the city. The incident is still under investigation, and police weren’t releasing the family’s name.
“We haven’t determined whether there’s going to be any charges,” he said.
Some groups have argued that cities should not ban specific breeds, but Eastpointe has discussed the possibility of banning specific dogs in the past.
They had, however, already named pit bulls as an automatic “vicious dog,” according to the city’s code and ordinances listed online.
Residents who have dogs that fall under the category of “vicious” in the city’s ordinance have to meet certain criteria, such as making sure the dog is confined in a yard when outside, or leashed and/or tethered; the owner must also have liability insurance on that dog.
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