PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Plant City toddler was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital on Tuesday morning after he was attacked by his family’s dog.
Investigators say a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detective was conducting an interview about an auto theft at about 8:07 a.m. at a business located at 3701 E. Trapnell Rd. During the interview, the detective happened to see a dog at a nearby residence with something in its mouth.
Detective Jeffrey Harris and the business owner walked closer and realized that the dog, a 50 lb. Boxer, had a child in his mouth. Detective Harris ran over to the dog and started yelling at it, which made the dog run away.
The business owner ran to the child’s house and got the child’s mother.
Teresa Budd was working at her Plant City produce business this morning, when she looked out and saw a dog dragging what she thought was a towel.
Budd said, “The dog had just turned at a different angle and I could see what he was dragging around and it just hit me, oh my God its a child.”
Budd and Hillsborough County Deputy Jeffrey Harris, who just happened to be at the business on an unrelated matter jumped into action.
Budd went on to say, “I was able to run the dog off and kept the dog off and Deputy Harris told me to go get the mom and he would keep the dog off the child while I ran to the door to try and get the mom.”
Michael Diaz’s mother doesn’t speak good english, but it didn’t take much for Budd to let her know, what happened to her nearly two-year old son.
Budd said, “I pointed to the yard and she said, oh my god yes bambino and she ran out to the child, she was horrified like any mother would be to see their child in that condition.”
The dog, named “Cookie”, is a pet of the boy’s family.
Neighbors told me, they’ve seen her running around unchained in the past.
Carolyn Jones lives across the street, she recalled seein the dog, “She was always around barking and run up to you and growl at you, and soon as you hit at her or threw something at her she would take off run back, but at this point i never thought she would do that.”
Budd is thankful she was looking out her business this morning.
“I’m just glad I was here at the right time, because it could have been a lot worse situation for the child and the family,” added Budd.
The boxer and her puppies have been turned over to Hillsborough County Animal Service.
Young Michael is in Tampa General hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.