Four-year-old boy attacked by Pit bull mix

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Just before midnight Wednesday, four-year-old Taylor Bailey, nicknamed Bucky, was attacked by a neighbor's dog. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix named Money chased the boy after he stepped out of his mother's car, eventually knocking the boy to the ground and latching onto his leg.

The same dog had bitten the boy's father the week before, according to the family, although this has not been confirmed by police. He recognized the dog and alerted his mother to the dogs presence just moments before the attack. She urged her son to come to her, but the one-year-old, 85-pound (~39 kg) male broke free from his restraints and attacked the screaming boy.

The struggle lasted several minutes before the boy's mother, Melinda Walters, was able to fight off the dog, leaving her knees scraped and thigh scratched. The boy's legs were punctured, scratched and bruised with bits of flesh missing. "It didn't go away. It was just trying to grab me ... trying to kill me," the boy said. Walters was carrying her three-year-old son Jason on her hip during much of the fight.

The dog's owner, Marquita Mooney, 23, was ticketed along with a relative who was watching the dog. She said that rather than register the dog as a potentially dangerous animal—which involves an insurance bond, fees, kennel requirements and more—she would have the dog put down. Police reports indicate that the dog bit two other dogs about two weeks ago. Mooney has been ticketed for both incidents.

This is the second such incident in Minneapolis this month—seven-year-old Zach King Jr. was attacked and killed in his home last week by his family's pit bull—fueling the debate over banning pit bulls and other "dangerous breeds" in some communities. Since 1966, there have been four other deaths from dog attacks in Minnesota, all but one of which were of children seven-years-old or younger.

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