Special Report filed by AAF Correspondent: Scott TingleyAnimal Attack Files Special Report
from The Chicago Sun Times

      Pit bulls attack girl, grandma

Thursday, October 5, 2000


A pit bull attack on a four-year-old girl and her grandmother was interrupted Wednesday by a neighbor who came out of his West Side house and shot the two dogs, killing one and critically wounding the other.

The girl, whose identity was not released, was listed in good condition Wednesday night at Children's Memorial Hospital, having suffered severe lacerations on her face, legs and an ear, a nursing administrator said.

Her grandmother, Josephine Echeverria, 70, was treated and released from Children's Hospital for a wound to her knee, police said.

The grandmother and granddaughter were walking on the 1700 block of North Kedvale at 3:30 p.m. when the dogs attacked, said Chicago police Sgt. Robert Cargie. Cargie said both victims live on the block.

An unidentified neighbor reportedly heard the screams and saw the dogs tearing at the little girl. He came out of his house and fired shots at both animals, Cargie said.

One animal died from the gunshots and the second, critically wounded, had to be put down by the city's Animal Care and Control Department.

Cargie said the dogs were running loose and that the owner, Enrique Culto, was down the block at the time of the attack. Culto, 17, who also lives on the block, was charged with reckless conduct for allowing the dogs to run unleashed.

Pit bulls had been considered by experts to be the deadliest dog breed until recently, when Rottweilers passed them in that category.

According to a study released about three weeks ago by the American Veterinary Medical Association, pit bulls were involved in 21 fatal attacks between 1991 and 1998, while Rottweilers were responsible for 33 deadly attacks.

However, over the two-decade period from 1979 to 1998, pit bulls led all breeds in fatal attacks, with pit bulls involved in 66 mauling deaths.

Copyright 2000, Digital Chicago Inc

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