Girl mauled by pit bull in Kennedy Park

LEWISTON — An 11-year-old girl was recovering at home Thursday, a day after she was bitten by a pit bull in Kennedy Park.

Police are investigating the attack that left the girl with bite wounds on and around her legs. The dog that bit her was later found and placed under quarantine.

Valerie Stringer said her 11-year-old granddaughter Chiya had moved to Lewiston from Massachusetts less than two weeks ago.

On Wednesday, she was in Kennedy Park at about 4 p.m. when the attack occurred.

A young girl had been walking two pit bulls with her mother nearby, Stringer said.

When the first dog lunged, the girl was unable to control it. The pit bull went right for Stringer's granddaughter.

"The dog just locked his jaw on her," Stringer said.  "She dropped and covered her face up. She tried to play dead."

Even so, the dog tore a chunk of flesh from the girl's inner thigh, Stringer said. The second dog also lunged, but police said it appeared that dog didn't bite the girl.

Stringer and others eventually were able to free Chiya from the pit bulls. Witnesses later pointed out the woman and girl who had been walking the dogs, police said.

Chiya was taken to the hospital where 10 stitches were required to close the wound on her inner thigh.

"She's traumatized," said family friend Rene Reynor. "She doesn't want to go to the park anymore."

"She just wants to stay in the house," Stringer said.

Animal Control Officer Wendell Strout is investigating the attack. He said the woman and girl walking the dogs were not the owners. Strout was trying to track down the owner on Thursday.

Stringer, meanwhile, questioned the logic of letting a young, small girl handle a pair of pit bulls in a public place.

"Those are strong dogs," she said. "The park is for the kids. Why do you have to have those big dogs out there?"

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Pamela Belanger's picture

First of all I just want to

First of all I just want to say that it's not the breed of the dog but how they was raised and I myself have a pittbull....I've had nothing but pits for sometime and have never had a problem with her around kids further more the girl was not walking both dogs she was handed the dog so her aunt not her mother could go check on the child who was teasing the dog and was told repeatedly not to tease the dog by the aunt and the dogs are around young children all the time so before we go bashing the breed of a dog lets get the facts straight cause obviously sunjournal and the LPD didn't take the time to do so...I mean really if Pitts were so bad the why is it when my daughter was like 6-7 and took my Pitt put her in a headlock and slam her to the floor all my Pitt did was get up and lap her face NOT bite her...again it's not the breed of the dog but how they are raised....

 's picture

Pitbull attack

People that have a pitbull have no business having a dog like that in a public park anyway. Furthermore a pitbull going to a park like that should have a muzzle on anyway. Maine lawmakers need to get a law passed that all vicious or aggressive dogs need to be muzzled especialy in public places.

Jenn O'Neil's picture

Speaking as an owner of 2 pit

Speaking as an owner of 2 pit bulls, there is so many things wrong with this situation. Why was a "young girl" walking dogs that weren't her own, that were obviously too strong for her to handle? I see this constantly, nobody thinks anything of it as the kid is dragged along behind a dog with no control. Why would the owner have other people walking a dog that obviously wasn't trained?
I have no idea where the owner lives, but these are high energy dogs that need tons of exercise. Apartment living is not ideal,unless you make an effort to make lots of time to exercise them.
To me , it all boils down to the owners. I hate to see yet another example in the media of "bad pit bulls". It isn't their fault people use them as status symbols and don't bother with the tough part- training and obedience.

 's picture

"A young girl had been

"A young girl had been walking two pit bulls with her mother nearby, Stringer said."

What is the matter with people?? Only expert dog trainers should be allowed to own pit bulls. Even then I question it. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Joe Morin's picture

Scary stuff

That's what we need in downtown Lewiston, Pitbulls. I see a lot of young guys downtown with these dogs. They don't own them because they're great around kids, they own them because they are intimidating. Imagine if the dogs would have turned on the young girl walking them??? A third story apartment on Bartlett is not the place to raise a dog like this...but these animals are an urban staus symbol.

When will someone say enough is enough?

When will someone say enough is enough anywhere in public? What will it take?


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