UPDATE: Owner opting to euthanize pit bulls that attacked 11-year-old in Maplewood

Updated: November 20, 2019 06:17 PM

A boy was seriously injured after pit bulls attacked him Monday in Maplewood.

Maplewood Police said an 11-year-old boy was on his way home from school and was walking into his driveway when he was attacked by a couple of pit bulls around 2:30 p.m. in the 1900 block of Price Avenue East.

A 72-year-old neighbor who saw the boy being attacked intervened and also got bit in the arm. Police said he was treated and is fine, but the boy was seriously injured. The injuries aren't believed to be life-threatening.

"I see him screaming... I didn't even think I just went," said 72-year-old John Lee, who ran to help his neighbor who was being attacked by two dogs. "I just did what anybody else would do, I'd like to think."

John Lee, the man who intervened in the dog attack that involved an 11-year-old boy.

The dogs were let out into a backyard where a gate wasn't secured, which allowed them to get out and attack the boy, police said.

"I just reached down and hit the dog, that got his attention. I maybe hit him twice," Lee said. "That got his attention away from the boy and he started coming at me. That was good so the boy could get away."

The owner of the two dogs opted to have them both euthanized after they were seized by police and transported to the St. Paul Animal Control center for quarantine. Maplewood Police says they had received no other prior complaints at the owner's home about his dogs. 

"I tried to do the right thing and I had both dogs humanely put down when they were taken to animal control," said Angela, the owner of the two dogs. "I don't want anyone that lives in the neighborhood to be afraid that an attack could happen again from animals in my household. I have prayed and will continue to pray for the boy, his family and everyone else involved."

According to police, the case is still open and there's no indication to suggest it was an intentional act on anyone's part.

Carter's mother, Christina, showed her gratitude for Lee's bravery. 

"For John across the street to come get [the] dogs off of him, I don't know what more damage they could have done," she said. "I'm just thankful."

Maplewood Police say a woman was able to drive off the dogs by striking at them with an umbrella.

She expressed gratitude for another woman who used an umbrella to get the dogs off Carter as well. The boy remains at Regions Hospital, undergoing treatment to his legs from the bites and scratches.

The case has been forwarded to the city prosecutor's office to consider charges for possible violations of ordinances related to dogs being off leash or unsecured and not having immediate access to rabies vaccination records.

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