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Charges upgraded in dogs' mauling of boy

Posted March 26, 2009
Updated March 27, 2009

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— A Raleigh man has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon in the wake of two pit bulls mauling a 6-year-old boy.

Anthony Whitfield, 23, of 816 Postell St., was held in the Wake County Jail under a $10,000 bond. He posted bond Thursday night and was released, according to jail officials.

Anthony Whitfield charged after dogs mauled boy Man faces upgraded charges in dog mauling

Two pit bulls attacked Isaiah Hardy last Friday as the boy played outdoors in the 500 block of Coleman Street, police said. He suffered 42 lacerations in the attack and was hospitalized for three days.

Whitfield, who was taking care of the dogs, initially was cited with allowing the dogs to run at large. Hardy's family complained that charge wasn't harsh enough.

Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue said officers continued to investigate the case after issuing the initial citation and gathered enough evidence to file the assault charge on Wednesday.

“This was an instrument that could cause death or serious bodily injury,” Wake County District Attorney Colon said.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County euthanized the two pit bulls Thursday by lethal injection to make room for other dogs coming to the shelter.

The SPCA had been holding the dogs under a 10-day rabies quarantine since the attack on Hardy. The dogs' carcasses were sent to the state's animal laboratory for rabies testing.

SPCA workers have been asked to speak to Hardy's classmates and ease their concerns about the attack and educate them on safety around animals.

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  • KEB59 Mar 30, 2009

    Ah, the Whitfield boys are in trouble again. Here's a couple of gems that have interacted with the local police a few times.

    This whole situation has more to do with the long-term irresponsible bevavior of these two knuckleheads than anything to do with a dog breed.

  • teacher56 Mar 27, 2009

    Sending a man to jail because his dogs got loose and bit a child is going to be a hard sell. Despite the seriousness of what happened...look at the photos of the child. The bites were scratches and teeth marks. He was not mauled apart. Would he have been? Perhaps, thank God he wasn't. And that is the point. I just think that the fact that these dogs have been put down is a fair price. Certainly financial compensation should be considered and even going so far as to not have him own other pets. But jail??? I don't think I have enough info to condemn a man to jail for years without knowing more info.

  • gpcherokee Mar 27, 2009

    How does one 'upgrade' charges? I always thought they were added. XP to Vista is an upgrade.

  • oldfirehorse Mar 27, 2009

    ...it is NOT the breed.... Huh? I guess they just don't report all those Golden Retriever attacks?

  • Newshound Mar 27, 2009

    I am afraid that the breed does matter at the time of the bite. I have a black lab. he could attack me any time. it is just that he has almost zero capability to seriously injure me. a pitt or similar breed for those who want to hide behind exactly what a pitt means can viscously rip me apart once he latches on to me. the lab i could pin down and gain easy control over. Talk all you want about the owners. every single attack where a child gets mauled the owner always will say. "he never showed any signs of aggression" or,, "He was always such a gentle dog"

    Gentle dogs do not rip out a childs throat. or rip their faces off and pepper their bodies with bite marks and tears.

  • ncrebel Mar 27, 2009

    Remember, ALL dogs have the ability to bite. Just because we try to humanize them, that does not remove that ability.

    Another note, it is NOT the breed that causes the problem. It is the human.

  • grayboomerang Mar 27, 2009

    DeathRow..wow, what a blanket statement....Good grief. Who knows though, my foot could be bitten off at any moment now by the sleeping dog under my desk. Thanks for the laugh. You anti dog people are pretty darn crazy too....some of the things that you guys come up with are just insane. Do you have statistics to back it up? If you are anti dog, I am assuming you don't live with one, so please share with me...how did you become such an expert on dog behavior?

  • spoiled rotties Mar 27, 2009

    Blame the Dreed, Not the Breed!!
    Any dog can be taught to be mean, bite and attack. I am glad to see that they are holding the owner responsible. Pitbulls can be good dogs with the right people. No dog should be used to look cool or taught to fight! Glad the little boy is going to be okay

  • working for deadbeats Mar 27, 2009

    Charge him with everything possible! No pleas, no deals. He wanted these dogs and now he can pay the price for looking "cool". I hope the kid recovers with very little scarring. Pitbulls should be just phased out, but they would probably just pick another breed to exploit and destroy anyway.

  • DML Mar 27, 2009

    This guy should get the assault with a deadly weapon charge and two murder charges for the fact that they are probably going to put these dogs down now. He killed those dogs by not properly socializing them and making sure they got the time they needed for proper training.

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