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4-year-old Killed by Family Rottweiler

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FAYETTEVILLE — FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP)-- A 4-year-old boy was killed by hisgrandfather's Rottweiler after the child climbed over a fence toretrieve a football.

Corey McLaughlin of Riverdale, Ga., was mauled Friday evening at hisgrandparents' home on Corerina Street, according to animal controlofficers. He diedlater at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Officers weren't sure what exactly provoked the attack. Thefour Rottweilers included a female and her puppies.

It was "either territorial protection ... the female waseitherprotecting her puppies, the yard or the ball," said animal controlofficer Sgt. Johnny Smith. "The other dogs did not have blood onthem."

Neighbors said the boy and his two brothers had been visitingtheir grandparents for the past two weeks. Calvin Elerbe, who livesacross the street, said the dogs were always penned up in thebackyard .

The boy's brothers, aged 6 and 8, said they tried to warn Corey not togo after the ball alone.

Animal Control has custody of the Rottweiler.