A pit bull attacked and killed a 7-year-old girl in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, authorities said Friday. The dog’s owner has been arrested.
Police report that a girl was attacked about 6:30 p.m. local time Friday. She was taken to a hospital but later died of her injuries. Her name was released , Sadie Davila, her school district released a statement that in part said they are devastated.
Sadie’s teacher, Grace Feucht, said: “Sadie was fierce and spunky, but she was also tender hearted and kind,” Feucht reflected. “She brought energy and joy into my class every single time she stepped in the door. She was fearless and would sing her heart out in front of her classmates. She was a gift to me and made me smile and laugh many times. I sadly expect our classroom to feel considerably emptier Monday without her precious presence. I am so grateful to have had the honor of teaching her.”
According to a probable cause form the dog’s owner, 20-year-old Erick Lopez, was taken into custody on negligent homicide charges.
According to the probable cause form, the girl was playing outside a relative’s home when a neighbor’s dog viciously attacked her. The relative tried to halt the attack by hitting the dog with a walking cane, but it was ineffective.
Animal Control officers from East Baton Rouge Parish later captured the pit bull.
During an interview with investigators, Lopez said he was not present during the attack, but admitted that the dog was “unrestrained” and would frequently roam the neighboring property where the attack occurred, according to probable cause documents. Both properties were not fenced in, officials said.
Sheriff Sid Gautreaux described the incident as an awful, heartbreaking tragedy. “My heart goes out to this family, and I will keep them in my prayers.”