Dogs Kill 8-year Old Boy
September 11, 1998
Filed at 10:02 a.m. EDT
By The Associated Press
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Three large dogs attacked and killed an 8-year-old boy who climbed over a neighbor's backyard fence to visit an 8-year-old girl. The girl tried to save him by punching the animals in the face and covering him with her body.
Jordan Schwarze went to Jessie Cocker's house Thursday evening, but she told him to leave because her parents weren't home, investigators said.
The boy then climbed the seven-foot fence and jumped down onto a child's playhouse used to house the two Mastiffs and a Saint Bernard. As Jessie again warned Jordan to go home, one of the dogs attacked. She ran to him, hitting the animals in their snouts and covering him with her own body.
``She was covered head to foot in blood,'' said police officer A.L. Gooch. ``One dog attacked, and the other two joined in. She tried, she sure tried, to get those dogs off. It was tough for her.''
Jordan's chest was punctured at least twice, and he was bitten in the neck and left arm, police said. He died at a hospital.
``The dogs are as big or bigger than the boy,'' police spokesman Fran Borden said. Such breeds usually weigh 170 to 200 pounds.
Jessie, who wasn't injured by the dogs, dragged the boy's body close to the house and placed a small stepladder over him to keep the animals off, officers said. Her 14-year-old sister was in the house and called their mother, Barbara Crocker, at work.
Ms. Crocker called 911 and rushed home. Rescuers responded within minutes and took the unconscious boy to Duke University Medical Center.
A grandmother of the children, Dorothy Crocker, said the dogs terrified her. A neighbor, Donna Self, said when she walks past the yard ``you feel as if the dogs are attacking the wall, trying to get up and after you. I'm glad they're gone and I hope they don't come back.''
The animals will be held at least 10 days for observation, officials said.
Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company