INDEPENDENCE MO - A PIT BULL, WHICH IS BANNED IN THIS CITY, "SOMEHOW" GOT OUT OF ITS PEN AND YANKED A GIRL OUT OF A TREE AND GOT HER BY THE THROAT
VIDEO A little girl is recovering from a dog attack. It happened Friday night in Independence. A neighbor says they’re concerned after it took too long for 911 to answer their call for help.
That call to 911 was placed right around 7:30 Friday night. An elementary-aged girl playing in a back yard was bitten by a neighbor’s PIT BULL.
That’s when the usually quiet Independence neighborhood heard the screams of a little girl. “He yanked her out of the tree, and she went to curl up and that’s when he got her by the throat and he just went to town on her,” said Amber Mapes.
Amber said that neighbor’s Pit Bull was normally in a backyard pen. But somehow it was able to attack her 10-year-old neighbor playing in the dog’s backyard.
“When I was standing in the driveway with the phone just ringing, it felt like forever.”
Mapes says she’s the one who called 911. The girl needed help – she was waiting on the steps bleeding, but Mapes said an answer didn’t come right away.
“So we stayed on the phone and after about 20 rings, they picked up.”
But by that time – the girl and her mother had already gotten into a car to head for the hospital.
Those 911 calls are now under review by Independence Police Major John Cato.
He says this incident had nothing to do with a dispatcher shortage.
“This is a priority for us,” said Cato. “This is what we do. That room is always staffed sufficiently to handle the call volume that’s there.”
Cato says Friday night did have a high call volume.
He also says the caller did the right thing.
“Stay on the line. Somebody’s going to grab that phone. The first available operator will pick up that line.”
Back at the house where the incident happened, there’s understanding, but also, concern.
“Thank God she’s OK,” said Mapes. “It was literally centimeters from killing her. Had that hit her corotid artery and I was trying to get 911, it would have been a different ballgame.”
As for that dog – the owner didn’t want to speak to us on camera. He says he didn't know about the Pit Bull ban in Independence.
“I was not aware of the ban until the animal control officer told me,” said Demark McKieyn. “I see other people walking Pit Bulls.”
McKieyn says his heart goes out to the girl’s family.
His dog, which is part Pit Bull and part American Bulldog will now be destroyed.
McKieyn says he’s been in constant contact with the girl’s family. He’s glad she’s doing better. Now he’s preparing for his court date related to owning a Pit Bull in Independence despite that breed ban.