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Posted: 6/22/2003 3:37:42 PM EDT
Girl, 2, killed in dog attack INLAND: She is mauled by her baby sitters' pit bull at the sitters' home in Good Hope near Perris. 06/21/2003 By GUY McCARTHY THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE A 2-year-old girl was mauled to death Friday morning by a pit bull at her baby sitters' home just west of the Perris city limits, Riverside County authorities said. Summer Clugston was attacked by the 32-pound dog in a fenced yard in rural Good Hope, officials said. Investigators did not release her hometown. The unidentified baby sitters, a couple with four children of their own, were being questioned late Friday. Sheriff's investigators and prosecutors were reviewing evidence to determine whether to file charges against them. The mauling took place in the 25000 block of Phillips Street, a dirt road about a mile southeast of Highway 74. Modest wood-frames houses and mobile homes sit on multi-acre plots in a hilly area where most neighbors are separated by fields and fences. A son of the baby sitters' kicked the pit bull several times and was able to free the girl, Riverside County sheriff's officials said in a news release. As many as six children, including Summer's younger brother, were in the yard during the attack, officials said. The baby sitters were in their home when the attack started and came outside when their son, whose age was not reported, called them, officials said. The attack was reported about 9:50 a.m. and the first deputy arrived at 10:02 a.m. Summer was taken to Inland Valley Regional Medical Center in Wildomar, where she was pronounced dead an hour later, sheriff's spokeswoman Shelley Kennedy-Smith said by phone. Dog to be euthanized A friend and former neighbor of the baby sitters' said the woman was devastated during a phone conversation after the attack. "She was totally freaking out, I couldn't even understand her," said Paula Caudel, 45, of Lake Elsinore. "God, she'll never forgive herself. She'll never be able to live with herself. . . . This is just a horrendous accident, but that's not the way it's going to be portrayed." The pit bull, a male named Baby Boy, was accustomed to being around children, Caudel said. "He's been with the kids all along," Caudel said. "I can't imagine what happened. He was the family dog. He was gentle, he was great. He was a good dog, very loving." The pit bull was about 2 years old, authorities said. The tan-and-black dog was to be euthanized by Friday evening, Dennis White, supervising Animal Control officer for Riverside County, said by phone. A necropsy will be conducted to determine whether the dog had rabies or any other abnormal conditions, White said. There was no indication the dog had been trained to fight and investigators did not know whether any previous complaints had been made about the dog, Kennedy-Smith said. There were at least three other dogs on the baby sitters' property, according to neighbors and sheriff's officials. Second fatal Inland attack Yami Chavez, 35, who lives down the road from the home where the attack took place, said she was wary of the pit bull. "We don't know the family at all, but their dogs are loose all the time and we have to chase them off our property," Chavez said as she waited behind yellow crime-scene tape for deputies to re-open Phillips Street. "The only one I was afraid of was the pit bull," Chavez said. "We have a lot of loose dogs in this area and you can tell which ones are dangerous." The distances that seperate residents on Phillips Road tend to insulate neighbors from each other, Chavez said. "People are pretty quiet out here," she said. "They go to work and they come home. We live so far away from each other we don't really get to know each other." The girl's death was the second fatal dog attack in Riverside and San Bernardino counties this year. Two Rottweilers killed a 5-year-old girl in Joshua Tree in March. Dog attacks killed more than 300 people nationwide from 1979 to 1998, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 25 breeds of dog were involved in fatal attacks on people during that 20-year period, but pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers were involved in more than half the attacks in which the breed was known, researchers found. ================================================ I need a babysitter for my 6 yr old daughter after her ballet classes. I wonder if she has any openings...sheesh.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 3:44:05 PM EDT
BAN babysitters! for the children!
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