Brutal Pit Bull Attack Injures Vinita Toddler


Thursday, November 3rd 2011, 7:02 pm
By: News On 6


Dan Bewley, News On 6

VINITA, Oklahoma -- A 3-year-old Vinita girl is recovering after being attacked by a dog this past weekend. The pit bull jumped a 6-foot high fence to attack the girl while she was riding her bicycle.

This was the second time this year a dog from the same residence in Vinita attacked someone. The latest victim is facing several years of recovery.

Emma Stonebarger has a broken jaw, a bruise on her brain, and puncture wounds all over her face. All of the injuries came from a two-year-old pit bull named Big Boy.

"Never did I think anything could happen like this to any of my children," said Emma's father John Stonebarger.

Emma, along with her mom and older brother were riding their bikes Saturday afternoon in their Vinita neighborhood. At the end of an alley, Big Boy jumped over a six foot high wooden fence and went straight for little Emma.

"It was scary. I don't know how to explain it. It was the scariest thing I've ever had to deal with," said Emma's mother Ashley Stonebarger.

The dog wrapped its jaw around Emma's face and wouldn't let go. Ashley reached inside the dog's mouth at one point and believes that's when she broke her arm.

Somehow, she got her kids in the house next door but Big Boy followed and was eventually trapped in the kitchen. Ashley's family escaped through a window and made it to safety.

"I think about it 24 hours a day, what happened, what could of happened," Ashley said.

This is the second time this year a dog escaped from the pitbull's home and attacked someone. A woman was walking her dog in March when she was attacked by another pit bull. No one answered the door while we were there Thursday morning.

"This is a terrible situation because, as a law enforcement officer, we want to be proactive and this is a situation where we've got to be reactive," said Vinita Police Chief Bobby Floyd.

Chief Floyd says the two cases have prompted him to look for stronger laws to prevent aggressive dogs from getting loose in the city. He's talked about requiring certain breeds to only be allowed outside in kennels or to be muzzled.

Emma's parents agree and hope lawmakers think of their daughter. Her father says the whole neighborhood is now on edge.

"It's got everybody in fear. They can't walk the streets with their family, they can't let the kids play outside unsupervised," said Emma's father John Stonebarger.

The dog's owner was originally issued a $1,000 citation for harboring a vicious Animal. But the city agreed to drop the charge and the dog's owner agreed to let the dog be put down so they can test for rabies.