Local News

4-year-old Killed by Family Rottweiler

Posted April 12, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

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

Corey McLaughlin of Riverdale, Ga., was mauled Friday evening at his grandparents' home on Corerina Street, according to animal control officers. He died later at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

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

It was "either territorial protection ... the female was either protecting her puppies, the yard or the ball," said animal control officer Sgt. Johnny Smith. "The other dogs did not have blood on them."

Neighbors said the boy and his two brothers had been visiting their grandparents for the past two weeks. Calvin Elerbe, who lives across the street, said the dogs were always penned up in the backyard .

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

Animal Control has custody of the Rottweiler.