By Craig Crosby, from The Portland Press Herald
A grandmother's calf is partially torn off during attacks that started when a pit bull killed a small dog
Three people were taken to a hospital in Lewiston on Wednesday after a pit bull attacked them at their home.
The dog was shot to death by the owner's 12-year-old son as it was biting the boy's grandmother.
Another son of dog owner Jeremiah Bailie, 11-year-old Ross Allen Bailie II, was taken to Central Maine Medical Center with bites to an armpit, said Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty.
The boys' grandmother, Lena Walker, 68, was in stable condition at the Lewiston hospital, where she was treated for leg injuries, including a right calf that "was partially torn off," Liberty said.
Anthony Manganella, 28, a friend of Jeremiah Bailie's who lives at the home, suffered arm injuries, including a broken wrist, and was in stable condition at the hospital.
The dog initially killed a Chihuahua that lived in the house. When the male pit bull attacked the Chihuahua, around 10 a.m. outside the home at 826 Prescott Road, Manganella tried to save the small dog, said Sheriff's Deputy Jesse Duda.
The pit bull then turned on Manganella, which prompted Bailie's 11-year-old son to intervene. Walker then wrestled the dog away from the boy, and it attacked her.
The 12-year-old shot the dog with a 20-gauge shotgun that he got from the house during the attack. The pit bull ran into the house after it was shot, then died, Liberty said.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will analyze the dog to try to determine what caused it to attack, Liberty said.
Duda said there were no charges filed as of Wednesday afternoon, but the incident remained under investigation.
"This attack was one of the worst that we have covered in many years," Liberty said. "The pit bull could have easily killed the grandmother had it not been for the quick thinking of the young male who dispatched the animal."
Jeremiah Bailie said the pit bull, Excalibur, had been with his family for seven years.
"He was like family," said Bailie, 30. "He slept in the bed with us. He'd wake up in the middle of the night to make you lift up the blankets so he could climb in."
But Bailie knew not to trust Excalibur, an American pit bull. He said he had told his family to leave the dog in his bedroom when he was not at home, with food and water and the air conditioning running.
"He respects me because I've been the owner for seven years," Bailie said of the dog.
Excalibur had been out of the bedroom when Bailie arrived home from work for the past three days. "They should have respected what I asked them to do," Bailie said.
He said the dog was not typically aggressive toward people. He believes the dog attacked Manganella only because he tried to help the Chihuahua.
Bailie said he had trained his son to shoot the dog if it ever attacked someone. "I didn't want it to end up being something like this," he said.
Bailie, a builder, said he was halfway to a job site in Belfast when he got a frantic phone call from his older son.
"My son called me and told me, 'I had to shoot the dog,'" Bailie recalled. "I told him, 'It's OK. You did the right thing.'"
Bailie said he could hear people crying in the background. He was unable to get more information amid the confusion.
Bailie said Excalibur weighed 120 pounds the last time he visited the veterinarian, but after helping deputies carry his dead dog to a waiting truck Wednesday, he believed the dog was much heavier.
Bailie said he is glad that his family and his friend will recover, but he will miss the dog.
"It's sad," he said. "When you choose a breed, you have to accept the responsibility that goes with it."