Memphis child recovering after pit bull attack - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis child recovering after pit bull attack

A Memphis child was in fair condition at LeBonheur Children's Medical Center late Thursday after he was attacked by a pit bull.

The dog, Beast, attacked 5-year-old Juan Pascual as he walked home in the 2300 block of Imogene Street, near the Memphis Defense Depot.

Linda Wicks, a nearby neighbor, said she heard the child screaming.

"I broke out with my broom," she said.  "The dog had him.  He was just gnawing him.  Just had him like a doll."

Wick, hailed by police as a hero, began hitting the dog with the broom.

"I'm constantly hitting the dog with the broom," she said.  "He finally let him go, and a man pulled up in a white truck and the kids got in."

Police arrived not long after.

"The dog came after the officers," Inspector J.M. Willis said.  "The officers did have to fire their weapons, and the dog was killed."

Neighbors said before the incident, the dog spent much of Thursday wandering up and down the street.  Once, a neighbor said, the dog even ran after a postal worker, but the man was able to escape in his truck.

Cathy Davis said she was taking care of Beast because the dog's former owner, her uncle, died recently.  Davis claimed the dog was not vicious.

"Beast was mild mannered," she said. "Beast was timid.

Davis said she thought someone let the dog out of the fenced back yard, because the latch was open on the gate. 

Officials at LeBonheur said Pascual had eight puncture wounds on his leg, but should fully recover.

Meanwhile, animal control investigators are trying to determine if the dog was carrying any diseases that could harm the child.  The shooting of the animal is also under investigation, but the officers involved will remain on duty.

Click here to send an email to Janice Broach.

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