Essex boy critically injured by family dog

Family killed dog to stop it from attacking

ESSEX, Md. - A 2-year-old boy is expected to survive after being bitten in the face and neck by his family's pit bull.

“He's a playful little boy; he always comes and plays by my door all the time,” said Phil Thomas, who lives next door to the home where the attack happened, on Barnacle Court in the Cove Village Townhome complex in Essex.

The dog, a 3-year-old pit bull named “Midnight,” was well-known to neighbors.

“It's a good dog,” Thomas said.  “If you saw it, it would run up to you and play with you right now.”

Tom Gehring, who lives across the street added: “Yeah it's a pit bull but not like a very vicious dog or comes out scaring anybody."

But around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, Midnight attacked the little boy.  Police say the boy was bitten in the face and neck.

“They were all just sitting in the living room, just playing, and the dog just went after the 2-year-old,” said Lt. William Watts, of the Baltimore County Police Department.

Rescue crews flew the boy by helicopter to Johns Hopkins.

“It's shocking me right now,” Thomas said.

Hours later, police and an animal control officer moved the dog's carcass into a waiting van.

“They had to get the dog off the child so they had to use force to do that, the family members did, and in the process the dog didn't make it,” Watts said.

Investigators say the family owned the dog since it was a puppy, and there have been no previous incidents where it attacked anyone.

Police say boy’s injuries are serious but not life-threatening.

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