Four-year-old California girl mauled by pit bull, owner arrested
National City, CA, United States (4E) – A four-year-old girl was hospitalized with severe injuries after being attacked by a pit bull outside a National City apartment building on Tuesday, the dog’s owner was taken in custody.
According to authorities, the 65-pound dog mauled the toddler, who was accompanied by an adult, around 10:30 a.m. after asking permission from the owner, Brittany Gardiner, to pet the animal.
The girl, identified by neighbors as Hailey Nunez, was bitten by the dog on her face and shoulder, and grabbed in its mouth. She was brought to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and treated to wounds to her face and upper body, said National City police Lt. Keith Fifield.
Witnesses said that Gardiner and more than four men attempted to snap the dog away from the girl for some time, while punching and kicking it. The attack was stopped after a bystander repeatedly hit the dog with a rock.
The 22-year-old owner was arrested by officers as she tried to flee from the complex, where she also lives.
Gardiner is facing three charges of child endangerment, obstruction of a police officer and owning an animal that can inflict injury.
Authorities said that the dog is taken to an animal shelter where it will undergo a rabies quarantine, it would possibly be euthanized.
The girl is reported to be in fair condition by Tuesday night.