CHICAGO — A boy was mauled to death by a dog on the South Side Monday night, despite efforts by neighbors to get the animal to release the child by hitting it with sticks and bricks.
The boy, identified as James W. Nevils III, was attacked by the dog in the 8900 block of South Carpenter Street in Auburn Gresham around 9:35 p.m., said Officer Stacey Cooper, a Chicago Police spokeswoman. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said the child was 5 years old.
The boy, who lived in the 8200 block of South Escanaba Avenue, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he later died.
Neighbors told reporters that they had heard a woman screaming for help and saw her and the dog outside the home, the animal with the child in its mouth. The dog was a familiar presence in the area, though they did not recall it causing trouble before.
A neighbor, who came to the rescue of the boy, killed the dog, Cooper said.
Tuesday afternoon, Cortez Walker sat across the street from the home, whose front porch was sloshed in blood amidst broken chairs, sticks and rocks. Walker, who has lived on the block for over 30 years, said he would often see the pitbull hanging with the family, who moved in about four months ago.
"[The child] would hang out with the mom and dad sitting out in front with the dog some times," said Walker, adding the dog didn't seem vicious.
He couldn't confirm if the victim lived in the home or was just visiting.
Several people reportedly tried to intervene during the attack, using sticks, bricks and rocks to get what was a described as a white pit bull off the child.
One neighbor, Marquis Lewis, told CBS2, "We started hitting the dog with a brick. My brother got the pole, started hitting the dog with the pole. I wasn't really thinking about nothing but getting the dog off the baby."
Another person who tried to help, Lamar Lewis, told NBC5, "My heart hurts we couldn't save him."
Robert Crawford, has lived on the block for over 40 years and has never heard of anything as crazy as what happened just two doors down from his house.
"This is the best block in the neighborhood, but things can happen," said Crawford, praising the young folks who came to the rescue for "doing what they were supposed to do."
"I think people do stupid things and stupid things happen. You don't have a vicious dog around a kid. I don't care how well you trained it," he said.
According to dogsbite.org, 42 dog bite fatalities occurred in 2014 in the United States.
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