7-year-old attacked by neighbor's dog

7-year-old attacked by neighbor's dog


by MARK BOONE / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Mark: MBoone@WCNC.COM


Posted on January 19, 2010 at 8:43 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 19 at 8:43 AM

Rock Hill, S.C. -- A first-grader was recovering at home Monday, five days after he was attacked by a neighbor's dog while riding his bicycle.

Ravion Cunningham, who goes by the nickname Ray-Ray, said he tried to jump over a fence to avoid the pit bull, which had escaped from the owner's house.

"I was trying to run as fast as I can," the 7-year-old told NewsChannel 36. "He started biting me."

"He was gone about 10 minutes and he came back with blood everywhere," said Barbara Cunningham.

Cunningham was injured in his face and buttocks and part of his right ear was severed.

"It was just very traumatic," said Casandra Cousar, a neighbor who witnessed the attack from the porch of her home on Rich Street.

Cousar said she rushed to help the boy as the dog's owner also gave chase.

"I was beating the dog with a stick and she was pulling at the dog," Cousar said.

Eventually freed from the animal, Cunningham rushed to his grandmother's home, about 100 yards from where he was attacked.

Hospital staff at Piedmont Medical Center re-attached the boy's ear and closed other wounds with more than 100 stitches.

Barbara Cunningham said doctors told her Ravion's face would likely be permanently scarred.

It was not clear why the dog lunged at the boy, although Cousar said she believed the 1-year-old animal was attempting to play with Ravion and got excited when he tried to run away.

"If they think you’re playing, they will chase you and snap at you," she said, adding her family also owns a pit bull.

Rock Hill police cited the dog's owner, Luis Muniz, for allegedly violating the city's ordinance requiring dangerous animals to be contained or muzzled.

A message left for Muniz at his home was not immediately returned.