Another Garrard child mauled by pit bull

May 06, 2004|JIM LOGAN

LANCASTER - The third attack by a pit bull in Garrard County since February set off angry calls for tough restrictions on the breed.

Jordan Scott, 8, was mauled Tuesday afternoon by a neighbor's dog after he "got a little too close," police said Wednesday. Scott, a first-grader at Lancaster Elementary, suffered bite wounds to his face, head and groin and scratches on his back. He was treated at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville and released. The male dog also ripped the crotch out of Scott's jeans.

Scott said he was playing with his brothers Josh and Chase and Morgan Prewitt, the daughter of the dog's owner, Crystal Prewitt. He said they went to the Prewitt home on Myers Court, and Morgan brought the dog outside.

"Then I fell and the dog started attacking me," Scott said Wednesday at the home of his grandmother, Angela Long. He said Morgan Prewitt kicked the dog, allowing Scott to escape. His screaming brought his father, Scotty Burnside, running to his aid.


Burnside said he scooped up his son while another person called police and an ambulance.

Scott, who received six stitches in his head and four in his face, was heavily bandaged and likely would miss two days of school said his mother, Chastity Scott.

Owner cited for harboring vicious animal

Crystal Prewitt, who was cited by Lancaster police for harboring a vicious animal, was not at home at the time of the attack, Burnside said.

Efforts to reach her were unsuccessful.

Tuesday's attack comes on the heels of another attack April 26 in Hodgenville in which a 4-year-old girl's scalp had to be retrieved from the stomach of the pit bull that attacked her.

In Garrard County in February, Lancaster police killed a dog that attacked an officer and chewed through 13 car tires. The dog was shot nine times, including twice in the head at point-blank range, before dying.

A week later, 6-year-old Anita Denny was mauled by a neighbor's pit bull on Sue Barbara Court in Lancaster. It took 100 stitches to close her wounds.

"He got very lucky," said Angela Long, Jordan Scott's grandmother. "It could have been a whole lot worse. Something's got to be done. What happens next?"

Gary Hammons, Garrard County's dog warden, said the pit bull would be quarantined at the county dog pound for 10 days.

After that, he said, "I guess she gets the dog back."

Dog's fate is unclear

The fate of the dog, who Hammons said is named Rocko, is unclear because it's a question that city and county officials didn't have to answer in the earlier two attacks. In the first, the dog was killed by police. The second dog, a male named Buttercup, was euthanized at the request of his owner.

If the Rocko is returned, Hammons said, Prewitt would need to build or install an outside pen, which the dog warden would inspect for soundness.

The prospect of the dog's return unsettled Jordan Scott's family.

"She wants her dog back," said Dawn Gifford, Jordan Scott's aunt.

"She doesn't think it's a big deal. Does it have to kill somebody to be a big deal?"

At the Lancaster City Council meeting less than 24 hours before Tuesday's attack, Mayor Billy Moss said police chief Ronnie Lamb was exploring restrictions on the breed.

"I'm assuming the chief will follow up and do our fair share," Moss said Wednesday. "There is a concern about these activities ... from a lot of the citizens."

Council will talk about pit bulls

A special session of the council Monday will focus on municipal aid, but the mayor said discussion about pit bulls is certain to be on the agenda.

"I just wish the city would make a law that if they're outside they've got to be in a pen," said assistant chief Wanda Shelton, who responded to the attack.

The powerful breed has a unique ability to inspire both terror and deep affection.

It's banned in many countries or subject to muzzling and other restrictions. Critics say it's bred to fight and can attack without warning.

But its legion of defenders say the pit bull is a loving dog that has been demonized as a result of a few well-publicized incidents.

Even Lamb, who killed a pit bull Feb. 25 after the animal attacked officer Russell Preston and chewed through the car tires, said the animal isn't necessarily the killer it's portrayed to be.

"I don't really blame the animal," he said. "Any dog can turn on you. I think it's bred in them and trained in them."

Hammons agreed.

"They're just like a car - there's good and bad in all of them," he said. "I've been around a lot of them ... it depends on how they're brought up."

He even suggested that Jordan Scott's wounds could have been an accident, the result of Rocko's exuberance.

"The dog is real playful," said Hammons. "It's just wiggly. I don't know if it was playing with the kid or what."

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