A 7-year-old Detroit boy is recuperating today after being mauled by a pit bull that broke loose and rushed a group of children in front of 8702 Maxwell in Warren.
The child, Khalil Rocks, was rushed to St. John Hospital, Detroit, where he received several stitches to close severe wounds to his head, legs and arms.
The boy escaped more serious injuries when a neighbor saw what was happening and grabbed a flower pot and struck the dog in the head, causing it to let go of the boy.
"The boy is recovering today at home and neighbors tell us it was out of character for the dog to do something like this," Warren Detective Lt. Michael Torey said Friday.
Police said this is the second time Khalil has had an encounter with a vicious dog. He was attacked by a pit bull and severely bitten in Detroit when he was 3 years old.
Torey said the incident occurred at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday in the 8700 block of Maxwell. Neighbors said the dog broke loose from a chain restraint in his unfenced yard and ran after a group of children.
"Khalil fell down and the dog attacked and bit him for several minutes," Torey said. "A next-door neighbor, Timothy Anderson, saw this happening and ran over and slugged the dog in the head with a flower pot."
The dog then ran off to his back yard. Warren firefighters attended to the boy and then rushed him to the hospital.
The owner of the dog told Warren Detective Kevin Borycz that the dog was a house dog. Neighbors told police the only problem they had with the dog was that he barked often and loud but had never seen him roaming through the neighborhood.
The dog has valid license tags through 2011.
"The homeowner was emotionally upset and said the dog had never done this before," Torey said. "She said she once had a fence around her yard but the city made her take it down for some reason."
Torey said the dog's owner could be charged with harboring a vicious animal, a four-year felony. Police said the dog's owner also could be charged with being neglectful.
The dog is at the Macomb County Animal Shelter where it will be kept for 10 days. According to police, the owner said she doesn't care if the dog is euthanized.
Torey said police don't know if the children were harassing the dog.