New York City NY May 29 2011 A 4-year-old boy left alone by his mother was killed when a family dog savagely mauled him as his two terrified brothers watched helplessly, cops and witnesses said.
Neighbors rushed to the Pacific St. home in Brownsville about 9:15 p.m. Friday after hearing the mother’s desperate cries for help when the dog latched onto the boy’s throat, witnesses said.
“Help! He ate my baby! He ate my baby!” the mother wailed, according to one witness. Police said the mom insisted that she only left the boys alone for five minutes, and returned to find the dog tearing at her son.
“The baby was bit in the head and neck,” said neighbor Anthony Brown, 35. “The baby wasn’t moving.”
Jayelin Graham was rushed to Brookdale University Hospital, where he died. Police said his two brothers, ages 2 and 5, were inside the room with Jayelin when the powerful Cane Corso attacked.
The Italian-bred dogs are large, muscular animals once used to hunt wild boars. A neighbor said the killer dog had recently eaten the family’s pet rabbit.
A chaotic scene unfolded when cops arrived at the apartment as neighbors crowded near the building, witnesses said. A group of people tried to storm the home, but police held them back.
Six people were later arrested and expected to be hit with obstruction charges, sources said.
Police were questioning the mother, who has three other young children who live in the apartment. Sources said she faces criminal charges.
Neighbors said the seedy first-floor home of the family was like a small zoo with the Cane Corso, a pit bull, a German shepherd, a parrot and a snake.
It took 10 firefighters to remove the vicious dogs from the apartment, one neighbor said.
“People were scared of those dogs,” said Kenny Rishar, 50, the super of the building. “The dogs belong to the husband, who is seldom here. This was a tragedy waiting to happen.”
Brown said the entire street was afraid of the dog that killed little Jayelin.
“It was a violent dog,” he said. “Dangerous. A big dog. The whole block is scared of that dog.”
Angelica Barriere, president of the PTA at Public School 178 across the street, said she ran over when she heard the screams.
“I think the mother should be locked up, should be arrested,” said Barriere, 32. “She had issues. The little boy was not well-dressed and was not clean, but he was a good kid.”
A neighbor, Rose, who recalled Jayelin being a “real sweet little kid,” said the dogs were kept in a cage.
“When you cage an animal and let it out, what do you think it will do? An animal goes wild,” Rose said.