Friday, July 1, 2011

Child remains in hospital after dog attack

By Andy Sedlak, Middletown Journal

A 5-year-old boy remains in a Columbus hospital after he was mauled by a dog on Sunday.
Shyler Swank was playing outside with other neighborhood children when a pit bull mix “tore a big piece” out of his calf, said his father, Josh Schlaht, who said his son who lives in Columbus and was visiting his home on the corner of Van and Malvern street.
Schlaht said the dog — part pit bull with long, white hair, according to Middletown police — caused a gash 4 inches wide and 8 inches long between his son’s ankle and knee, exposing bone. Schlaht said he had momentarily stepped inside when he heard screaming. He rushed from his house to find his son’s right leg covered in blood.
The dog’s owner, Justin Brewer, 23, of 805 Auburn St., has been charged for failing to carry liability insurance on a vicious dog, which is a first-degree misdemeanor. He also has been charged with harboring a vicious dog, abandonment of an animal, owning an unlicenced dog, and for a dog running at large, according to Janice Jones, a juvenile detective with the Middletown Division of Police.
Jones said Brewer voluntarily came in to talk to police. He told police his kids opened a door to his house and the dog escaped in the process, whipping down a nearby alley. At the end of the alley, it came into contact with the playing children, Jones said.
“From what I’m understanding from witnesses ... the other kids kind of froze and this boy either jumped, moved, or tried to run and the dog went after his leg,” Jones said.
Schlaht said his son’s leg requires staples, stitches and a skin graft.
“My son is going to walk with a limp the rest of his life,” Schlaht said. “The dog that attacked him weighs more than he does.”

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