Waxhaw police say charges are pending against the owner of two pit bulls that attacked a 5-year-old girl and grandmother, killing the girl.
The attack happened at about 11 a.m. Wednesday at a home on Rehobeth Avenue behind the Captain's Galley restaurant.
Waxhaw police say two dogs attacked 5-year-old Makayla Woodard and 67-year-old Nancy Presson in their front yard. The dogs were captured and killed by police. Neighbors and family members were extremely upset by the 5-year-old’s death.
“She was so smart, and she was loved, very much,” said Makayla’s cousin, Amy Plyler.
Police said the dogs belonged to someone in the neighborhood and wandered into the victims' yard. It was not immediately known how the dogs got loose, but police said charges were pending against the dogs' owner.
Neighbors said those dogs got out all the time and police said they were in the area during Christmas,
The dogs' owner would not speak on camera but told NewsChannel 36 that while there was a fence, the dogs were often able to climb it.
Police said Makayla was bitten around the neck several times. She was taken to CMC-Union, where she died. Presson was bitten in the shoulder area. She was listed in serious condition at CMC-Union.
According to Waxhaw's town ordinance, dogs must be contained on a property by a fence or invisible security system.
Update January 12, 2011 1:58pm - The following article is by Chris Dyches and Jeff Rivenbark, WAFB:
Girl dies after pit bull attack, grandmother severely injured
Two pit bulls attacked and killed a young girl and severely injured her grandmother in Union County Wednesday morning.
According to the Waxhaw Police Department, five-year-old Mckayla Woodard and her grandmother, 67-year-old Nancy Presson, were attacked by the dogs just after 11 a.m. at 325 Rehobeth Road behind the Captain's Galley seafood restaurant.
Presson was hurt while trying to get the dogs off Mckayla, police said.
Mckayla and Presson were transported to Carolinas Medical Center-Union in Monroe where the girl died a short time later from her injuries.
Presson was under sedation and listed in stable condition in the hospital's emergency department as of Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Amy Plyer, who is a family member, told WBTV Reporter Sharon Smith the girl was attacked while trying to get into a fenced-in yard adjacent to her home.
Mckayla was mauled by a pit bull named Rebel which Plyer said "tended to wander the street."
"I don't know if Mckayla even saw them coming," she said.
Investigators said Rebel was immediately killed by authorities. The other dog was on the loose for a short time, but was later fatally shot by authorities.
Both dogs were owned by neighbor Michael Gordon. WBTV has learned that Waxhaw police went to Gordon's house last month and warned him about restraining his dogs.
A man who lives nearby on Sweetbay Court told WBTV he heard a woman's scream around 11:10 a.m.
Scott Bland was in his driveway trying to clear snow and ice so he could go to work. (Click to see our complete interview with Scott Bland.)
"She was screaming non-stop, she would catch her breath--there were no words, just screams," said Bland who called 911. "It was like a horror film, just high-pitch squeals, a woman's voice, the screaming just got worse."
Bland says when he spoke with a 911 operator, they had already received other calls concerning the attack.
"It was a little bit unnerving to know the pit bull dogs were running around the neighborhood," Bland said. "This is a perfect example of why people should not allow these dogs to run loose."
Update January 17, 2011 12:55pm - The following article is from WSOC:
Funeral Held For 5-Year-Old Victim Of Pit Bull Attack
The funeral for 5-year-old Makayla Woodard, was held on Monday afternoon at Davis Funeral Chapel in Monroe.
The procession was led by a horse and carriage and continued to Lakeland Memorial Park in Monroe where she will be laid to rest.Woodard died after being attacked by two pit bulls in Waxhaw on Jan. 12.The girl's grandmother was also seriously hurt when she tried to get the dogs off the child.The attack happened in the back yard of the dog owners’ home on Rehobeth Road, off South Main Street. The home is next door to the house where 5-year-old Makayla Woodard lived with her grandmother, 67-year-old Nancy Presson.“It's so awful to know somebody got hurt in our own neighborhood,” neighbor Barbe Albright said.Police said the two pit bulls were loose when they attacked Makayla, a kindergartner at Waxhaw Elementary. Her grandmother was trying to get the dogs off her when she was severely injured.
Update March 18, 2011 - The following article is from My FOX 8:
Man Charged in Pit Bull Attack that Killed 5-Year-Old Girl
Union County sheriff's deputies have charged a Waxhaw man in the dog-attack death of a 5-year-old girl.
WBTV reports that 23-year-old Michael Gordon was arrested Thursday after the county grand jury returned an indictment charging him with felony involuntary manslaughter.
Gordon owned the two pit bulls that officers say killed Makayla Woodard in January and injured her great-grandmother. Gordon is scheduled for a hearing on May 12. It was unclear if he has an attorney.
Makayla and 67-year-old Nancy Presson were attacked by thedogs Jan. 12. Investigators say Makayla was attacked first and Presson was bitten on her arms and hands when she tried to rescue her great-granddaughter.
Both were taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Union in Monroe where the girl died. Presson was treated and released.
Little Girl Dies After Pit Bull Attack - WCCB
Pit bulls kill 5-year-old girl, attack grandmother in Waxhaw - The News & Observer
Pit bull attacks leaves 5-year-old girl dead - Gaston Gazette
Warning preceded fatal dog mauling - WCSH