Pit bull mauls 4-year-old in National City; dog's owner arrested

Dog's owner Brittany Gardiner arrested

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. - A pit bull attack outside a National City, Calif. apartment building on Tuesday left a 4-year-old girl hospitalized with extensive injuries and the owner of the dog behind bars.

The roughly 65-pound terrier mauled the toddler shortly before 10:30 a.m. when she tried to pet the animal in a grassy central courtyard at the Laurel Avenue complex, where she and her family live, according to police.

Medics took the child to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, where she was admitted in serious condition with injuries to her face and upper body, National City police Lt. Keith Fifield said.

Officers stopped the owner of the pit bull, 22-year-old Brittany Morgan Gardiner, as she tried to drive away from the complex, where she also lives, according to Fifield.

Gardiner was booked into county jail on suspicion of child endangerment, resisting police and allowing a vicious animal to inflict injury, with arraignment scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

The dog was impounded and will undergo a rabies quarantine, after which it likely will be euthanized, the lieutenant said.

Gardiner told officers she had given the neighbor child permission to pet the canine, believing it had no aggressive tendencies, according to Fifield.

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