A 6-year-old boy who was bitten by a pit bull Sunday in Bradenton is in good condition at All Children's Hospital, authorities said Monday.
Bay News 9 has now learned this isn’t the first time the dog, Mack, has attacked a child and now, in an exclusive interview, the boy’s mother is speaking out saying she doesn’t want something like this to ever happen again. She said there’s no reason this had to happen, especially, she says, given the dog’s past history.
“Mack” has been with his family since he was a puppy, but now he's locked up in a cage after deputies say he attacked Tristan Starkey, 6, Sunday night.
"My son had told me that he had grabbed him on his arm, brought him down to the ground, latched on to the back of his neck, and was just shaking him like a chew toy," said Miranda Morrow, Tristan’s mom, recalling those horrific moments.
The attack happened at the dog owner's house in Bradenton and his owner, Jeff Gregg, said he's sorry this had to happen.
"I really apologize to the parents and the family of the little boy but at the same time I want to stand up for my dog also because he's not a bad dog and doesn't just attack anybody," said Gregg.
He said the dog attacked Tristan because the boy was trying to feed him and at the same time, the dog sensed the child's fear. But this isn’t the first time Mack has bitten a child.
Both the dog's owner and the Manatee County Sheriff's Office say the dog has bitten a child in the past when it attacked Gregg's niece.
"She was the same thing,” said Gregg. “She was very afraid of the dog. She don't come over here a lot."
And while Gregg admits Mack only bites when he smells fear, Tristan's mother believes animal services could have prevented this from happening in the first place.
"I mean my son wouldn't be in this predicament if the county had followed through with the first incident,” she said. "You do your best to protect the ones you love and when you're not there to help them it's just, it's horrible."
Now, Morrow is looking for answers, hoping Mack doesn’t get the chance to bite another child again. Manatee County Animal Services is now investigating.
There’s no word what will happen to Mack next although the dog is in the custody of animal control. The owner tells us Mack’s being quarantined for 10 to 30 days pending a dangerous dog investigation.