Local News

Charges upgraded in dogs' mauling of boy

Posted March 26, 2009 3:58 p.m. EDT
Updated March 27, 2009 5:26 a.m. EDT

— 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.

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.