by: Dave Faherty Updated:
CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. - A family is mourning Monday after a vicious dog attack killed a 1-year-old boy in his grandfather's yard.
The attack happened right in front of the toddler's 5-year-old brother, who ran to get help.
Animal control seized the rottweiler and took it to the shelter.
The two brothers were at their grandfather's home because their mom was out looking for a job.
Ervin Patterson showed Channel 9 the last photos of his grandson taken just one day before Nyhiem Wilfong died behind his home. He also showed where he had his 100-pound rottweiler, nicknamed Kobe, tied up with a chain when he heard his 5-year-old grandson scream for help.
"He said, ‘Papa the dog is on the baby.’ So I jumped up off the bed and ran up there to get him. I called 911 and tried to do CPR but I couldn't do nothing else for him,” Ervin Patterson said.
Family members said they rushed the boy into the bathroom after calling 911. Animal control officers said the toddler had serious injuries to both his head and chest.
"They went to the swing set and I just assumed that's where they were at because I was washing dishes,” said grandmother Shirley Patterson.
The boy's great-grandmother said the last time anyone saw the brothers was near a swing set not near the rottweiler. Animal control officers said the dog was still on its chain when they showed up.
"It could have been a territorial thing. Unfortunately, and I know his sounds crazy, the dog could have been playing with the child,” said Greg Greene with Caldwell County Animal Control.
The rottweiler was placed in a locked dog run at Animal Control where it was quarantined.
Animal Control said Tuesday the dog was surrendered to them and would likely be euthanized.
Patterson said he had only gotten the dog a few weeks ago.
He said he wanted to let other parents know never to take your eyes off your children.
"Just watch. Just watch. That's all I can say. Watch your babies. It was an accident that's all,” Ervin said.
Sheriff’s deputies said their investigation is still ongoing in this case. Once they've finished their work, they will sit down with the district attorney and let him decide on charges.
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