Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pit bull mauling sends Cocke Co. 10-year-old to hospital


A 10-year-old boy is recovering in the hospital and two people are sitting behind bars after a dog attack near Maple Lane in Newport.
Cocke County Sheriff's Office says the boy has serious injuries after the pit bull mix mauled him.
Cops say four to five dogs were also in the area. A neighbor shot one of them, and now animal control has the rest.
Jennifer Switzer and Anthony Lugar now face charges for having animals at large causing bodily harm.
The boy was flown to UT Medical Center.

Update August 4, 2011 - The following article is by Natalie Neysa Alund, Knoxville News Sentinel:

Boy mauled in Newport dog attack remains in serious condition

A 10-year-old boy flown by medical helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center after being mauled by two dogs was listed in serious condition this afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Brandon Williams, whose ears were torn from his head and sustained bite marks to his entire body, was attacked by a pit-bull mix and a large black dog Wednesday at a home in the 1000 block of Branch Drive in Newport, according to a Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes.
Initial Sheriff's Department reports indicated only one dog, the pit-bull mix, had attacked Williams. During the attack a neighbor shot and killed the large black dog in an attempt to stop the mauling. The breed of the dog was not immediately available.
The dogs' owners, Jennifer R. Switzer, 21, and Anthony L. Lugar, 22, both of 1009 Branch Drive, were arrested following the afternoon attack on a charge of allowing animals to run at large with serious bodily injury, according to their respective arrest reports.
The couple, according to reports, were not at home when the attack took place but knew their dogs were running loose when they left their residence.
Reports show that before the attack, the boy was delivering a package to a nearby home at 1003 Branch Drive.
As he entered the driveway of that home, Fontes said the dogs charged him. He dropped the package and ran back down the driveway but the dogs caught him and attacked.
Animal control officials then caught the pit-bull mix and took it to the Newport Animal Shelter, where, as of today, it remained under quarantine, a shelter spokeswoman said.

Update August 7, 2011 - The following article is from The Republic:

Newport boy in good condition after being mauled by 2 dogs, dog owners arrested

A 10-year-old boy recovering from a dog mauling last week says he thought he was going to die during the attack near his home.
Brandon Williams' head is covered with gauze and an ace bandage to protect the ears doctors reattached, and his face is marred with deep puncture wounds, cuts and bruises.
He was attacked by a pit bull and another large dog while taking a package to a neighbor's home on Wednesday in Newport.
Brandon told the Knoxville News Sentinel ( ) he thought he was going to die before his father came running and pulled the dogs off him.
Brandon underwent reconstructive surgery Thursday morning to reattach his ears.
The dogs' owners, 21-year-old Jennifer R. Switzer and 22-year-old Anthony L. Lugar, were arrested on a charge of allowing animals to run at large causing serious bodily injury.

Update August 8, 2011 - The following article is by Natalie Neysa Alund, Knoxville News:

Strangers reach out to help Newport dog-mauling victim

A group of Harley-Davidson riders are organizing a bike run. Local nurses have begun taking up a collection. And the phones won't stop ringing at the University of Tennessee Medical Center with offers of help.
It's all for Brandon Williams, the 10-year-old Newport, Tenn., boy whose ears were torn from his head, among other serious injuries, in an Aug. 3 dog attack near his home. Brandon was mauled by a female pit-bull mix and a large black male dog outside a home in the 1000 block of Branch Drive owned by the dogs' owners, Jennifer R. Switzer, 21, and Anthony L. Lugar, 22. The couple faces charges of allowing animals to run at large.
Since the attack Brandon's parents, Tony and Christy Williams, have received numerous calls from strangers who want to help with his hospital bills or drop off toys to cheer their son up.
Marty Tilley, assistant director of the Volunteer Thunder Harley Owner's Group, said he wants to schedule a bike run to Brandon's home to deliver him a PlayStation 3 and a television to use it.
"We just wanna help the little guy out," said Tilley, of the group that meets on Clinton Highway. "Little boys like bikes, so I figure after he gets out of the hospital, we'll ride up to his home and drop them off."
Across town, some Knoxville-based nurses from Select Specialty Hospital are taking up a collection.
"I was in the break room and saw the story in the News Sentinel," said Katrina Ison, who got the idea to raise money with her coworkers. "When I saw his face I was actually moved to tears. I love dogs. I rescue them, but I was just tore to pieces over this."
Brandon's aunt has also stepped in to help by creating a web page to raise money.
"Many of our friends have asked how they could help, so we decided to set up a donation site," said Tammy Phillips.
Her goal is to reach $10,000 by Sept. 8. As of Monday she'd raised $725, according to the site.
UT Medical Center, where Brandon was listed in stable condition Monday, is also being flooded with calls.
"One woman made a quilt for him and dropped it at the hospital," said hospital spokesman Jim Ragonese. "Someone else came in and brought the little guy Bug Juice after they read about how he liked it in the newspaper this weekend."
His mother said she expects a hefty medical bill because Brandon was flown by helicopter to the hospital where he underwent reconstructive surgery Thursday morning to reattach his ears. Doctors also performed surgery on his arm, leg and neck.
"We've had a lot of people call asking to help," said Christy Williams, a stay-at-home mom who also takes care of Brandon's 5-year-old brother, Timothy. Her husband, Tony Williams, has been out of work due to a recent surgery and isn't clear to return back until the end of September."I wasn't really expecting this, but I appreciate everything."

Keep up to date on Brandon Williams' recovery or make a donation

Update August 9, 2011 - The following article is from WBIR:

Cocke Co. boy attacked by dog now home

A Cocke County boy involved in a serious dog attack is now at home. Brandon Williams, 10, recovered at UT Medical Center for six days after a pitbull tore off both of the boy's ears.
"I wanted to live... I wasn't ready to die," said Brandon at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
The accident happened when Brandon was delivering a package to his neighbor's home in Newport. That is when a pack of dogs attacked Brandon.  He said he remembers the events leading up to the attack very clearly.
He used one word to describe the attack, "terrifying."
Surgeons performed an eight hour surgery on Brandon to treat his injuries on his arm, leg, face and ears. Doctors were not able to re-attach the boy's ears, however he can still hear.
Now, Brandon is able to walk, move around and his bright personality is shining through.
His father, Tony, is thrilled with the swift recovery.
"I'm so happy. I'm just tickled to death," he said.
Dr. Michelle Hall, a physician at Children's Hospital, said the boy's progress is a "success."
"I think it's a very big deal that he's home today," said Dr. Hall.
But she believes he could face a struggle ahead.
"The healing of those wounds is probably going to be the most painful. If any tendons were torn, it can be a lengthy recovery," Dr. Hall said.
The parents plan to home-school Brandon until he's fully recovered.

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