Local News

Pit bull mauls 3-year-old Sampson boy

Posted May 17, 2013

— A Newton Grove boy was being treated Friday at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville after being attacked by a pit bull Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

Three-year-old Will Baggett suffered injuries to his face, neck and legs from the mauling, which occurred at the home of his mother's cousin, Brooke Weeks, at 4130 Penny Tew Mill Road, authorities said.

He was listed in critical condition Friday, and his mother, Ginger Baggett, said he could be in the hospital for a week.

"He just said, 'Mommy, tell that doggy me not a toy,'" she said.

Will was staying with Weeks while Baggett ran to the supermarket. The 7-month-old dog, which belongs to Weeks' boyfriend, Justin Strickland, rushed out of the room where it was being kept when Weeks opened the door, authorities said.

"He saw the dog and started screaming, and that's when the dog lunged for him," Baggett said.

Weeks struggled with the dog and was eventually able to pull it off Will and get it out of the house, she said.

"If it were not for her, he'd be dead," she said. "She jumped on the dog. She bit him – she bit the dog to try to get him off of him."

Pit bull that attacked Newton Grove boy Future uncertain for dog that attacked child

A Sampson County deputy responding to a 911 call fired a shot at the dog, which was behind the house, but the dog ran into some nearby woods, authorities said. Deputies searched the area but couldn't find it.

Strickland, who wasn't in the house at the time of the attack, later located the dog, authorities said. At the request of deputies, he took it to the Sampson County Animal Shelter to be quarantined for 10 days.

The dog's fate after the quarantine period is over is unclear. Animal shelter officials said that, if the dog is returned to Strickland, it would have to remain in an enclosed shelter and wear a muzzle any time it leaves.

"He hurt my child so bad. If another human being inflicted injury on another human being like that, there would be consequences," Baggett said.

No charges have been filed in the case, which remains under investigation.


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  • pirate65 May 20, 2013

    People are more important than dogs.

  • pietro1217 May 20, 2013

    you people blame the breed but is not them i have a pitbull and she is one of the most lovin dog ive seen every generation people blame a certain breed yea the lil boy got hurt but if he was watched better maybe it might not have happen so i guess yall will blame the poodle next guys are a joke

  • lrakydarb2 May 20, 2013

    This breed, thru no fault of their own, needs to be eliminated from the face of the earth. I have never heard of a malteese chewing someone to death. Or a border collie. Or any one of some other 275+ breeds of dogs. They are bred for one thing. fighting/violence. Period.

  • wasone May 20, 2013

    sisterCHRISTIAN, When the lady attacked a wake counsty deputy with a knife they shot her and you don't want to put an animal down for mauling a 3 year old child...give us a break!

  • Whatthehey May 17, 2013

    Well said, bd1205. There are 300 breeds of dogs. Is it worth the risk of lifelong trauma to even one child and his family to selfishly insist on having a pit bull (or any one of the half dozen powerful breeds common in the US that are prone to defend their master & territory)? What hypocrites are on this post! You blame the owners but then attack the one state legislator brave enough to propose a bill requiring pit bull owners to register and get an hour of training! Shame on you - this child's hurt is as much your fault as the dog's.

  • bd1205 May 17, 2013

    Damien Thorne - agreed. The following quote perhaps is a more accurate reflection of what I was trying to say:
    I think you are all rediculous going back and forth over dogs. The DOG attacked a CHILD, unprovoked. Why are you so concerned about what kind of dog it is or what kind of dog is more vicious. Be concerned about the CHILD. Sure any dog could attack someone. This particular dog was a pitbull. Wral did not blame all pitbulls, but this pitbull was to blame. Say a prayer for the child and its family for healing an comfort instead of wasting your time argueing with each other. Do something productive.

  • djofraleigh May 17, 2013

    You would be hurt by many of the comments. -- COMMENT

    Nothing said here is going to compare to seeing that little boy fighting for his life in the ICU. I can't hurt the parent's feelings more than that. The injury wasn't to the family, boyfriend, but to the child. I know they feel bad. Of course they do, and they should. I would. Their tragedy, little Will's injury, might just turn into someone else's lesson learned and injury avoided.

    Every parent is responsible for caring for their children, and this child was not protected by being put into jeopardy. I'm not going to sugar coat this by saying it was just "one of those things" an "accident" or anything except what it was, bad judgment from the beginning.

    I'm not for killing the poor dog for being a dog, if he won't or can't attack again.

    Young Will's words, "tell doggie that I'm not a toy" is so full of forgiving innocent love that it is unbearable. What a kid!

    I'm not for killing the poor dog for being a dog, if he won't o

  • eeyorerogers May 17, 2013

    GinNC2013 has great statements on the subject.

  • SisterChristian May 17, 2013

    This dog does not need to be put down. He needs to go to another owner. The owner should have shut the door completely. OWNERS FAULT...NOT DOGS. PLEASE DO NOT KILL THE DOG BECAUSE OF THE OWNERS MISTAKE.

  • StuckHere May 17, 2013

    FootFlash: "At some point someone in the legislature is going to get wise and outlaw these deadly animals. Poor kid."

    This is the same county/state/whatever that allows anyone with a pulse to own a gun and carry it anywhere, and too scared to do anything about it. I don't expect this situation to be handled any different.