Filed at 10:28 a.m. EST

By The Associated Press

Calif. Toddler Killed by Pit Bull

Monday, March 1, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A 14-month-old boy died after being mauled by his family's pit bull dog in their back yard.

Paramedics sent to the home on Sunday found that flesh had been ripped from the youngster's face, said Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. The boy, whose name was not released, died later at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, said hospital spokeswoman Adelaida De La Cerda.

An 11-year-old neighbor heard the dog growling.

``I saw that (the boy) was fighting off the dog and called for his parents but no one heard me, that's when I called my parents,'' Adrian Banuelos said. His father called paramedics.

It was unclear what provoked the dog, and the family said it was the first time the animal had attacked anyone, said Officer Joe Estrada.

Animal control officers took custody of the dog.

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