Dog under quarantine after attacking a 7-year-old boy

Published: Jan. 9, 2011 at 1:53 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2011 at 1:55 PM EST
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Darlington County, SC - By Alisha Laventure - bio | email

DARLINGTON COUNTY (WMBF) –The Darlington County Sheriff's office is investigating the attack of 7-year-old boy by a pit bull.

Tyjai Peterson bears scars from stitches on his right cheek and a cast around his left arm as he recovers from his injuries. The Darlington County Sheriff's office says the boy was attacked by a pit bull whose owner lives across him.

"We were playing tag and I fell by that tree," explained Peterson. "When I fell the dog came and bit me."

The attack occurred December 30 around 3:00 p.m. Capt. Andy Locklair of the Darlington County Sheriff's office say the incident occurred in an area between the Peterson's and the dog owner's home. Conversely, the dog's owner, Troy Toney, insists the attack happened in his yard. He told deputies that the dog was unchained outside while he was raking leaves.

"I am deeply regretful that my dog bit the boy," Toney said. He says Keller, his 1-year-old pit bull, is not a vicious dog and was only guarding the property.

Toney does admit; however, that Keller did attack another child last year.

"But at the same time, […] I know that would've never happened if these kids were to have been supervised," Toney added.

The Darlington County Code requires dog owners to keep their pet under "restraint or control e.g. on a leash, confined within a secure location, or obedient to an owner's commands. South Carolina state law considers a dog "under restraint" when on the owner's property, or on leash accompanied by the owner when off of the owner's property.

Capt. Locklair said charges are pending for the violation of a leash law. Additional charges under a Dangerous Animal Act may follow. Capt. Locklair said the Darlington County code does not supersede state laws regarding animals.

"They were saying that he's lucky because the doctor said the dog was like three inches away from his throat," Denise Porter recalls. She said her son needed surgery on his face and arm to repair the injuries he sustained in the attack.

Toney told WMBF News there is a warrant out for his arrest with regards to the attack in question.

Keller, his dog, is under quarantine at a holding unit near animal control.

Deputies continue to investigate the attack.

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All rights reserved.