Police are trying to determine whether a pit bull sexually assaulted a 2-year-old boy, and why.
Lockport Police Detective Capt. Larry Eggert said they are interviewing witnesses and meeting with dog behavioral experts to try and figure out what motivated the dog.
The boy’s mother told police the dog, a 2-year-old pit bull named Bear, sodomized the boy while the mother was in another room.
“She left the baby alone for a short period of time,” Eggert said. “She heard a scream, she ran in the room and saw the dog and the boy.”
Eggert said the toddler had removed his own soiled diaper and asked to be changed just before the attack. His mother sent him into the living room to get a new diaper, Eggert said.
The boy was alone with the dog for only a brief time, Eggert said.
When the mother heard the boy scream, she told police she went into the living room and found the dog had mounted the child, Eggert said. The mother told police she began yelling at the dog and spooked it. The dog dragged the boy out onto the porch, where neighbors saw what was happening, he said.
“They heard the mother screaming,” Eggert said. “Together they were able to disentangle the dog and the boy.”
A passerby who helped rescue the boy said he heard the woman screaming and saw the dog’s mouth holding the child’s leg and stomach.
The toddler was taken to Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, where he remained after having surgery Sunday night.
Niagara County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Executive Director Al Chille said the dog would remain there pending the police investigation.
The pit bull had been with the family two years and had no history of aggression, Eggert said.
A DNA sample was taken from the dog to compare with DNA taken from the boy to ensure the attack actually did take place as reported, he said.
Eggert said investigators plan to sit down with the Niagara County District Attorney’s office to determine if any charges will be filed.
“It’s not a pleasant case to have to work with,” Eggert said. “It’s almost unbelievable.”
Chille said he’s fielded dozens of calls about the dog, many from other states, and the overwhelming sentiment has been in favor of the dog.
“It’s been, ‘Save the dog, investigate the family,‘ ” Chille said.
Eggert said the family has been “very open, very cooperative” with police.