Neighbors react to infant's death - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Neighbors react to infant's death

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – We've uncovered new information in what Chesterfield Police are calling a tragic accident.  A baby boy was killed after being bitten by a dog Wednesday afternoon.  It happened just after 1:30 pm at a home on Overridge Drive in Chester.

In the neighborhood, the original shock is giving way to heartbreak.

Melvin Valentine knows a child could wander away in an instant.  He never thought that simple act could cost a life. 

"I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest," explained Valentine, who lives down the street from where the child was killed.   "I thought ‘oh what a shame, a little child like that is gone on.'"

The six month old boy and his mother were staying in his aunt's house.  They were visiting from Seattle.  Police said the child roamed into another room away from the adults; then they heard a strange noise coming from their American Bulldog Mix. 

They found the child on the floor with blood coming from the back of its neck.   Authorities are not releasing just how long the boy was alone with the dog.

Charles Fridley lives next door and watched the scene unfold.

"Seven, eight police cars and the emergency crew and the dog catcher from the dog pound," he described.

The little boy died at a nearby hospital.

There is no known history of aggression with this particular animal.  Right now, that American Bulldog Mix is being held at Chesterfield Animal Control.

Fridley said he's never seen the dog act out.  It was like a member of the family.

"At six months old the kid had to be small to the dog and maybe the dog got a little rough," he wondered.  "You never know."

Nathan Lippo works with dogs everyday and explained the breed is not violent by nature.

"That side of them, unless it's trained into them, is not part of their normal behaviors," he said.  "They're usually very loyal, very obedient dogs."

At this point, there are no charges.  Police told NBC12 it appears this was an accident and not criminal activity that claimed the little boy's life.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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