19-month-old seriously injured after being mauled by pit bull

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Items including a leash latched onto a pole appears to belong to one of the families involved in a pit bull attack in Commerce City on Monday, July 14, 2014. (Credit: Chris Jose)

Items including a leash latched onto a pole appears to belong to one of the families involved in a pit bull attack in Commerce City on Monday, July 14, 2014. (Credit: Chris Jose)

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- A 19-month-old boy is recovering in the hospital after a pit bull mauled in him a parking lot Sunday night.

The boy has serious injuries to his face and neck. Investigators are looking into possible charges because there is a pit bull ban in Commerce City and a vicious dog ordinance.

The attack happened about 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the King Soopers parking lot at 4850 E. 62nd Avenue. Three groups of separate families were traveling across the country that set up camp in the parking lot for the evening.

One included the toddler and his mother. Another included the dog and its owner. The two groups just met before the attack happened.

Police say the 90-pound dog was tied to a pole and when the child tried petting it, the dog attacked. When officers arrived, they restrained the dog using catch poles. The dog was taken to the Adams County Animal Shelter, where it died from asphyxiation.

"I think it's important to note that our officers showed great restraint in dealing with this animal," Commerce City officer Chris Dickey said. "Obviously it was vicious. And they handled it very well."

Police say the dog was aggressive when they tried restraining it. Charges are pending against the dog's owner. There is no word when doctors will release the toddler from the hospital.


  • Anonymous

    I wonder if Hickenlooper has call Bloomberg yet to see how he should ban and restrict the animals more to keep this from happening again

  • Anonymous

    This is a case about the dog’s owner and where were all the adults. My dog is never left alone around small children and as a parent I was always watching my children. I taught them not to approach any animals and to always ask the owner first. All the adults in this case should be held responsible for the attack. They were all neglectful!

    • Anonymous

      Fir st off, pit bull is not a breed, but a generic description that covers many breeds. Very loosely used term. There are several breeds that are real pit bulls, but they do not weigh near as much as this dog. Fact is, when the media reports a pit bull attack, it’s a mutt 90% of the time, and a non-pit bull breed. So, what you are calling a FACT is ignorant, because you clearly demonstrate you don’t even know what a pit bull is and fail to understand this subject at all. It’s ignorance like yours that drives fear and hurt innocent dogs and good dog owners. Sheesh!!!

      • Anonymous

        Ya sure, you defend because you probably own one. Maybe you would think differently if it was your kid on the other side of the teeth.

    • Anonymous

      You are ignorant it is not the dog or the breed so if a specific race started killing people should we eliminate them?

    • Gondodeb

      Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death in children under 5… Are you going to ban pools too?

    • Mariah Canfield-Jones

      Okay, let’s eliminate a person’s cat if it attacks a child then? Let’s destroy an entire breed of something simply because of lack of education! There are good dogs out there that are pits, by the way, my friend’s daughter has a seizure sensing dog that’s a pit bull, and that little dog is far less dangerous than any other mutt out there. Seriously, you think that all Pits are bad? Um…I hate Siamese cats, let’s eliminate them because they scratched me when I was four because I was rough housing with it! You really are under educated, there are tons of pits out there and secondly, the DOG is an AMERICAN BULL DOG!

    • Anonymous

      I disagree, it’s all on the owner. I have seen really nice well trained pitbulls and incredibly mean and aggressive chihuahuas but those don’t get documented because people think it’s cute

    • Vivian

      Pit Bulls are actually not the worlds dangerous dog there are several dogs before the Pit Bull. People should look up legitimate stats on the FACTS. If you don’t have a pit then your opinion is biased because society is shaping you to believe what they want. You hardly hear about other dogs attacking people yet they do. A German Shepard is used by cops and is also a dangerous dog yet you hardly hear of them attacking but they do! Don’t shame living animals and put them down, near WWll pit bulls were known as the American dog and later on during that time cops and fire fighters had pit fights for entertainment. Dogs should be looked upon there merits not there breed. There is no such thing as a bad breed but there are bad people.

  • Nel

    I own 2 pits and 7 dogs total and would never tie any of my dogs to a pool while I went in somewhere no matter how nice they are.The parents shouldn’t let this kids pet any dog no matter the breed unless it knows the dog and owner. This is just more irresponsibility on both parties.

  • Nel

    Wow I feel like a fool. I didn’t read that story right. Sorry. I do own 7 dogs 2 which are pits. They’re all rescues. As a pit owner I am extra diligent with any all of my dogs and make sure I have control over them especially around children. Any dog can bite and attack but its up to me as the owner to make sure “I” have control over the situation. I’m not going to deny some pits are dangerous, but that comes with any breed. My Heeler and Saint Bernard will snap way before my pits will but that don’t mean I’m less careful with any of them. Obviously the owner didn’t have control and that dog should of never been tied up around a child nor should a child be petting a dog that is tied up. Both the parent and owner didn’t show responsibility in this case. Why is this owner setting up camp in a King Soopers parking lot anyway and this parent with a child? Just a sad situation.

  • Jason Byer

    First off, I am a mother and from day one I have taught my children to NEVER go up to a dog you don’t know. Do not run up to dogs. Dogs can bite.
    Second, Pit bulls should not be kept as pets. If I knew someone who had a pit bull we would never go around the dog ever. Pit bulls kill, that is what their mind set is. Parents and grandparents that choose to have these dogs around children should be charged with child neglect for not having the smarts to put two and two together. I am disgusted at the stupidity of some of these parents these days. You should always choose your children’s safety over all things. Please, if you cannot or do not want to take care of your children like an adult, drop them off at a neighbors house that looks safe. I would gladly take in anyone’s child that cannot love them. I know many people that would give love to any child.
    Third, you will be punished justly for the choices you make on Earth. Even if you escape justice on Earth, your day will come.

    • Kayla

      I have two amazing pit-bulls who have never hurt nor bitten anybody or anything. Oh wait no, Minnie did chew up a slipper last week. Shame on her she should be killed right now! But the black lab that a family member has who just bit a little girl is fine because lets face it she’s a lab….a family dog….right? Must have been the humans fault because only pit-bulls bite and kill. And really…”Drop them off at a neighbors house that looks safe.” Nevermind that behind that precious smile he/she could potentially be a pedophile or murderer but no, no if it looks safe drop them off because that’s better than taking them home to a SAFE place where they have a pit-bull who would do anything to protect their life. HMMM you should win parent of the year award.

    • des

      Pitbulls do NOT kill. If anyone thinks that theyre ignorant. Any dog could bite or seriously injure you it all comes down to the owners! If people treat the dog wrong and teach the dog bad things the dog will be aggressive. They are not born with a mind set to kill. I work at a pet store and pits come in all the time and every single on of them has been the sweetest things ever toward everyone. Half the time people can’t even pick a pitbull out barely anyone knows what the even actually look like (fox31 put it to the test) don’t be ignorant.

  • Chef David Edelstein M

    Lots of lots of questions remain on the table that both 9news AND Fox 31 conveniently overlooked:
    Why are these people camping in a parking lot?
    Why were the parents of the child letting it run around unsupervised?
    Why were the parents of the child letting it approach a dog they didnt know?
    Why was the dog tethered?
    Why do media reports only cover the info that is SENSATIONAL and “If it bleeds it leads” yet dont dig an inch further to reveal the whole incident was 120% avoidable?
    Why do fear mongers feel the need to fear that which they dont know?
    When will our culture evolve beyond the “black cat” and “broken mirror” era?

  • Anonymous

    This was by far a preventable act that went terribly wrong for both the child and the pitbull. I am a animal lover but there is unfortunately a large fear in society today of this breed but in every breed, there are some more aggressive ones within the breed but hear so much in the news today about pits and their attacks on humans – sadly our hearts go out to them. What is the right to do? Anonymous

  • StifflersMom

    First, everyone should know that my cousin had her face ripped off by a purebred Cocker Spaniel when she was 3. She’s had 3 plastic surgeries in 15 years and over 500 stitches and staples at the time. Proof that any dog can maul. Second, I used to think that Pitbulls should be eliminated but that’s before I received the education about the breed. They are sweet and docile if raised properly. Good dogs. Now would I own one, Hell no! I have children. I wouldn’t own any dog that could hurt my child. I gave my 5lb long haired Chihuahua to a family without children because he bit my 18 month old daughter in the face (broke skin with one tooth) when she approached him when he was eating. It came as a complete shock to me because I had him for 6 years and he was completely docile. Dogs are dogs–you can’t change nature. You just don’t take the chance of having dogs, especially strange dogs, around children. And as a pet owner, don’t allow children around your dog. As a parent, don’t allow your child around dogs including Cocker Spaniels if you don’t want to have their face to be sewed back on. It’s really very simple.

  • Gabriel Barros

    People killed by pit bulls in 2014 (mostly children and elderly)

    May 2014, Kent County, DE
    Kasii Haith, 4
    Fatal pit bull attack

    May 2014, Lee County, AL
    Katie Morrison, 20
    Fatal pit bull attack

    April 2014, Bexar County, TX
    Petra Aguirre, 83
    Fatal pit bull attack

    April 2014, St. Clair County, AL
    John Harvard, 5
    Fatal pit bull attack

    March 2014, Kaufman County, TX
    Dorothy Hamilton, 85
    Fatal pit bull attack

    March 2014, Holmes County, MS
    Christopher Malone, 3
    Fatal pit bull attack

    March 2014, Terrebonne Parish, LA
    Mia DeRouen, 4
    Fatal pit bull attack

    March 2014, Maricopa County, AZ
    Nancy Newberry, 77
    Fatal pit bull attack

    February 2014, Guilford County, NC
    Braelynn Coulter, 3
    Fatal pit bull attack

    February 2014, Bell County, TX
    Je’vaeh Mayes, 2
    Fatal pit bull attack

    January 2014, McLean County, IL
    Kara Hartrich, 4
    Fatal pit bull attack

    January 2014, Comal County, TX
    Betty Clark, 75
    Fatal pit bull attack

    January 2014, Harris County, TX
    Christina Bell, 43
    Fatal pit bull attack

  • Gabriel Barros

    The American Pit Bull Terrier (HISTORY OF FIGHTING DOGS Series) Paperback

    by Joseph L. Colby

    ISBN-13: 978-1846642562

    Originally published in 1936, this book is extremely rare in its early editions. Hugely informative and in-depth, it is a complete treatise on the breed covering the entire field, with particular emphasis on dog-fighting.

  • Anonymous

    i was attacked by my uncle’s pitbull when i was six years old and I will tell you that the memory and vision is still very vivid in my mind. We owned dog since he was a puppy and never had issues. One day I walk in the gate he comes and grabs ahold of my pant leg and just starts dragging me and biting me all over the place. It was decided to give the dog away rather than take him to the pound only for him to attack another child a few days later. The other child got it worse than me unfortunately and the dog was then put to sleep. I am now deathly afraid of dogs and have been all my life. Pitbulls are visicous and unpredictable dogs period.

  • Anonymous

    This story is a not fair at all to the pit bull. Who in they right mind would let a 19 month old walk up to ANY dog. Why is the dog and his owner the only ones being held responsible? As a parent and an owner of a pit bull, I am disgusted with the fact the parents would allow their child to go pet a dog that does not know him. Now the dog is dead, the breed gets another bad wrap and we are all just supposed to ban together against the breed. Not cool.

  • Chris

    Oh yeah the dog was so vicious because it was tied up, meaning he couldn’t get away, when a random stranger that the dog clearly did not want touching him comes up to give him hug (like the other articles reported), so his reflex is to bite in hopes of the stranger to go away. Then surrounded by even more strangers with poles, the dog is again scared to death because it was being attacked with poles, he resorts to fear biting again since he cannot run away. ……Yes SO vicious. The fact that humans are this dumb makes me sick and this article is useless with its one sided facts.

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