A 10-year-old Aurora boy is clinging to life after his family's three pit bulls mauled him Wednesday afternoon as he was trying to get into his home.
Gregg Jones Jr. was attacked in his back yard in the 16600 block of East Asbury Avenue, near South Naples Court. The fourth-grader from Yale Elementary was rushed to Children's Hospital in Denver, where he remains in critical condition.
He was bitten on his head, face, throat, chest, arms and legs. Neighbors who fought off the dogs said one dog appeared to be gnawing on the boy's neck, as if it was eating him.
Neighbors say Greg returned home from school just after 3 p.m. and couldn't get in the locked front door so he tried the side gate to the back yard. As he jumped over the wooden fence, neighbors heard him scream.
"We looked over (the) fence and three of them were just literally attacking this little boy and he was calling (the dogs) by their names, but they wouldn't let go of him," said neighbor Trish Millard.
One neighbor grabbed a bat and two others, wielding large sticks, started yelling to distract the dogs, that had the boy in their jaws.
Neighbor Mike Bruschel said the dogs didn't let go until he and others got about 10 feet away.
"It was horrific. I've never seen anything like that in my life," Bruschel said.
"The dog had him by the neck. It was like he was just a doll," said neighbor Jeff Witmer.
One man called 911 for help and the child could be heard screaming in the background as the dogs attacked him.
"Hurry! Hurry!" the man pleaded with the 911 operator, as the attack continued.
Neighbors eventually got the dogs to back off.
When officers arrived and tried to secure the animals, the dogs became aggressive towards them, Aurora police said. An officer armed with a shotgun fired at one of the pit bulls, but missed. A second officer fired his gun striking one of the dogs in the mouth.
That dog was taken to Alameda East Veterinary Hospital and subsequently euthanized. Two of the other pit bulls were taken into custody by Aurora Animal Control. Two more puppies were also taken from the home Wednesday night.
All of the surviving dogs are now at the Aurora animal shelter.
Police said no decision on possible charges in the case has been made.
Animal control said only the euthanized dog was licensed in Aurora, and it was licensed to Rene Muniz Jones, who lives in that home. There had been no prior reports or incidents involving these dogs.
The boy's sister, Danielle Carson, told 7NEWS that the family was taking care of one of the dogs for a friend in Denver, who was no longer allowed to have the dog because of Denver's strict pit bull ban.
Carson said she has asked that all the dogs be euthanized.
Two years ago the dogs' owner, Jones, was cited for keeping too many dogs and allowing them to run free.
Aurora recently passed a law banning pit bulls and several other breeds. The law takes effect Jan. 31. Under the new ordinance, new pit bulls will not be allowed but Aurora residents who already have pit bulls will be allowed to keep them if they pay a $200 registration fee, carry $100,000 in liability insurance and have the dog microchipped.
Denver's pit bull ban took effect in May. Commerce City Council passed an ordinance in September that restricted owners from bringing the breed into the city and tightened regulations on current pit bull owners.
Counselors are Yale Elementary and may be there for several days, an Aurora Public School spokesman said. Greg's classmates are being kept busy by creating get well and best wishes cards.
A school representative is also at the hospital with the family.
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- September 25, 2005: Neighbor Allegedly Points Gun At Pit Bull, Dog Owner
- September 20, 2005: Commerce City Bans Pit Bulls
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- September 13, 2005: Dogs Shot, Killed After They Attack Goat, Horse
- September 8, 2005: Pit Bulls Save Couple's Life In Fire
- August 18, 2005: Pit Bulls Attack Aurora Collie As Council Considers Ban
- August 16, 2005: Commerce City Moves Closer To Restricting Pit Bull Owners
- August 15, 2005: Commerce City Considers Restrictions On Pit Bull Owners
- August 14, 2005: Commerce City's Pit Bull Ordinance Up For Vote
- August 9, 2005: Aurora Seeks Public Input On Pit Bull Ban
- July 26, 2005: Commerce City Considers Pit Bull Ban
- July 21, 2005: With Ban In Place, Denver Euthanizing 3 Pit Bulls Daily
- July 8, 2005: Aurora Considers Banning Pit Bulls
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