FLORIDA -- When a dog pounced on a boy and began biting him, the child's relatives and a neighbor rushed to the boy's aid, witnesses say.
They beat the dog with a skateboard, broom and belt — anything they could find — to stop the animal Saturday afternoon. Yet the canine was difficult to fend off. The attack sent the boy and an adult relative, both of whom suffered bite wounds, to the hospital.
"The dog just kept going back to the kid and attacking the kid," said Larry Szpyra, 64, a neighbor who heard the screams and witnessed the attack. "Just a nasty situation."
It happened about 3 p.m. Saturday in the 1800 block of Southwest 43rd Avenue in Broadview Park, an unincorporated neighborhood west of Fort Lauderdale.
The names of the dog-bite victims haven't been released, so their latest conditions were unavailable. Neighbors said the boy is about 9 or 10 years old.
"The adult sustained more serious injuries than the child," said Mike Jachles, a spokesman for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.
Szpyra lives across the street from where the attack happened. He saw the dog dart down the road and head straight for a boy riding his bike in his driveway, he said.
"No provocation whatsoever," Szpyra said. "[The dog] just attacked the little boy and jumped on his back. I don't know how badly he was bitten but he started screaming."
The boy's sister grabbed a skateboard and started hitting the dog, trying to stop the attack, Szpyra said. A woman, believed by neighbors to be the boy's mother, used a broom handle to also hit the animal.
Their efforts weren't enough. The dog kept attacking, neighbors said.
Donna Hartog, 68, another neighbor, said she heard the child's mother scream. The dog's mouth was covered in what appeared to be blood, she said.
"The mouth was totally red," she said.
A 21-year-old neighbor heard the screams and ran out of his home to help everyone. He used a belt to hit the dog, neighbors said. The 21-year-old man's father, Jean Justine, said his son only suffered a scratch while helping. The dog followed Justine's son to Justine's home.
"When my son saw that dog again, he got inside" the home, Justine said. "The dog was really crazy."
At some point, a woman drove up to where the dog was and took the animal away.
"She must have been looking for him, knowing he was loose," Hartog said. "She's screaming, 'Stop beating the dog! Stop beating the dog!'"
Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue said the agency's central Broward units responded to assist the child and adult who suffered the dog-bite wounds. The patients were taken to Broward Health Medical Center.
After the dog attack, an animal control unit and a sheriff's deputy responded to the home where the dog apparently lived. The dog was confiscated. A woman at that home, who was crying, declined to comment.
Neighbors saw the dog running loose in the neighborhood several times before, they said.
"That dog needs to be gone," Justine said.
(Sun Sentinel - March 28, 2015)