S yracuse Police say a mother and her two young children were viciously attacked by a dog on the city's south side Thursday. All three had to undergo hospital treatment for a number of injuries.
On Friday, 21-year-old Jakia Leonard told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that her 3-year-old daughter Shi-Naire Stroud and her 5-year-old daughter Nykia Stroud were playing in their backyard at 522 West Colvin. Leonard says she heard screams and when she went outside, she saw a large rottweiler, pit bull mix attacking the 3-year-old.
"I was saying Oh my God, my baby. Thank God there was one woman out there trying to help her," says Leonard.
Leonard says the dog was biting Shi-Naire's leg and refused to let go. Leonard says she stepped in and tried to pull her daughter free, while the other woman was hitting the dog with a belt.
"Once he let go of her leg, I fell and ended up falling backward. The dog grabbed my arm," says Leonard.
Leonard says eventually the dog ran off and back into its owner's home on Midland Avenue.
Leonard suffered bite wounds on her arm. Her 5-year-old daughter, Nykia had also been attacked and needed staples to close several wounds to the back of her head. 3-year-old Shi-Naire suffered the worst injuries with a deep gash to her leg along with bite wounds to her hip and the back of her head.
The dog's owner, Frank Myers, says he was not home at the time of the incident.
"The dog got out because my family was careless...that should never have happened...I'm very sorry. I wish I was here, it would have never happened," says Myers.
The dog was turned over to animal control where it will be quarantined for 10 days to make sure it does not carry any infectious diseases. It will then be euthanized.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year. Of them, 386,000 require emergency room care and 16 people die each year of dog bites.