Last month, a little boy suffered the ultimate fate after being attacked by the family dog in Union City. While you may have visions of snarling, unruly dogs running around in your head, you’d be extremely surprised to find out that’s not the case with this particular dog bite fatality. To say the least, this one is not your typical dog bite case.
The victim, 6 year old Nephi Selu, lived in Dixon with his parents, but was visiting his grandparents in Union City last month. According to the police reports, officers were called to the scene in order to investigate a report of a young boy who had been bitten by the family dog.
Nephi was apparently playing with the dog in the back yard, being supervised by other members of his family, including his mother. Nephi was engaged in some rough horseplay with the dog, ultimately trying to climb on its back and ride it, when the dog suddenly turned and bit him. A family member quickly jumped into action, pulling the dog off of Nephi.
The hospital reports said that Nephi had been attacked by the dog and bitten one time on the top of his head. The boy was treated at the scene of the attack by first responders, then airlifted to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. It was there the boy was later pronounced dead.
What Caused the Dog to Turn Aggressive?
This is the million dollar question when it comes to this tragic dog bite case. No one seems to know why this family dog suddenly turned vicious on Nephi. In fact, neighbors gave statements to police saying that Nephi’s grandparents had been wonderful to live by and had never experienced any problems with the family dog. Many other neighbors told authorities that they knew the grandparents had a dog, but had never seen any indication of the dog ever being aggressive. In fact, one neighbor said he was shocked by the incident and described Nephi’s death as “such a shame,” stating that “the dog always appeared very friendly.” The dog was later euthanized by a local veterinarian.
Beloved Family Dogs and Fatal Bites
There are imminent dangers when any type of animal attacks a human, but dogs are of particular concern. When you think of a dog turning aggressive, you don’t picture the family dog. That’s what makes this fatal dog bite case so particularly heartbreaking. In this case, the dog had never indicated that he would be aggressive with anyone, much less a family member. Nephi’s aunt described the dog as being extremely obedient and great with children. So, what went so terribly wrong? According to experts, it was likely the rough housing that triggered the response from the family dog.
According to the family’s attorney and spokesperson, Nephi was “coherent, conscious, and talking for hours after being bitten.” Due to his demeanor, the family naturally thought he was going to be okay. In fact, they only assumed he would need a couple stitches and then be on his way home. Even with such minor wounds, the dog bite turned fatal for young Nephi.
Dog bite injuries can be serious or even fatal. While there are certain breeds that have a nasty reputation for instigating attacks, such as the pit bull, dog bite accidents involving multiple breeds are a common issue in the Bay Area.
If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog, it is vital to speak with an experienced San Francisco dog bite attorney. Under California law, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. The dog bite attorneys at the law office of Nelson C. Barry have been defending clients injured in the Bay Area for over 30 years. We’re ready to put that experience to work for you. Call us today at (415) 587-0550 and schedule your free initial case evaluation.