A 5-year-old Collinsville girl is in the hospital recovering from a dog attack.
A 2-year-old Rottweiler-Bull Mastiff mix grabbed Payton White Tuesday evening, according to a witness. The girl's father said the injuries look more like a shark attack than dog bites.
It took surgeons six hours to repair the injuries to Payton's arm, head and neck. Her dad says she has hundreds of stitches.
Payton and her sister go to their nana's house every day after school and love to ride their bikes.
"I bet I didn't get three feet and I heard the screaming," great-grandmother Lois Scott said.
Neighbor Jesse Hixon said, "I've never heard a baby scream like that."
Hixon's kids play with Payton and her sister. He said he thought he saw the dog attacking a woman so he raced down the street and yanked and kicked the dog away.
"I thought he was attacking the owner and I [saw] blood everywhere and she was screaming, the baby, and that's when I see the baby and she's pouring blood from her arms, from her neck and from her head."
The dog owner's fiancée jumped on top of Payton to protect her and got scratched up in the process. When the kids were gone, she shot and killed the dog.
Hixon and Scott raced Payton to the hospital.
"She was passing out,” Nixon said. “[I was saying] 'Payton, baby, stay awake.' I was shaking her, I was halfway in the front and back seat."
The dog's owner said it's a tragedy but said his dog, Harley, wasn't aggressive, had never bitten anyone and played with the kids all the time.
A report says he told deputies Harley kept getting out of its pen.
Payton's father says Harley has been aggressive and nipped his other daughter's face a couple of months ago. He wants the owners prosecuted.
Without a history of complaints, it could end up being a civil case rather than criminal.
Right now, the focus is on Payton's recovery, because for a moment there, nana didn't think Payton would make it.
"I just knew she was going to die before I could get her to the ER,” Scott said. “I thought, ‘If they have to give her blood, I'd give her all my blood.'"