LEXINGTON — A Casey County boy who was mauled by a neighbor’s pit bull hopes to come home from the hospital later today.
“He’s doing a lot better this morning. He may be released this afternoon,” said Crystal Sims of Middleburg, whose son, Garrett Carrier, was attacked Tuesday evening. “But he’s going to have a long road ahead of him.”
Sims said the dog “pretty much ripped all the muscle off underneath his left arm. He just shredded it. There’s a lot of nerve damage.”
Garrett lost a lot of blood in the attack, but has steadily improved since receiving a transfusion. He faces multiple reconstructive surgeries in the future, his mother said.
“Right now, all he can do is barely make a fist. He can’t even open it back up,” she said.
In a telephone interview this morning from his bed at the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington, Garrett said he went to the home of next-door neighbor Jonathan Phillips to tell him that his pit bull, Titan, had gotten off his chain and was loose. Garrett’s first attempt went unanswered, but when he knocked at the back door a second time, Titan pounced, he said.
“He just pulled me to the ground. He was biting me for like 10 or 20 minutes,” said Garrett, who will turn 10 on Aug. 19. “I was just kicking him and punching him, and he finally let go. He probably got tired.
“It hurts pretty good. When it happened, (the pain) was right around an ‘eight.’ Right now, it’s probably around a ‘five,’” he continued.
Garrett said he always was “kinda scared” of Titan, who is about 5 years old. The dog was kept on a chain, but had broken free in the past and terrorized the neighbors, Sims said.
“We were terrified of him. He’s run us into the house before,” Sims said. “He had nipped at the calf of another neighbor boy before.”
Casey County Deputy Jamie Walters, who investigated the incident, said he plans to file a complaint later today with County Attorney Tommy Weddle against Phillips for harboring a vicious animal. Phillips was not home when the attack occurred, but has been cooperative and expressed concern for Garrett, Walters said.
Titan has been quarantined at the Taylor County Animal Shelter awaiting the outcome of the case. Walters said it’s too early to determine the dog’s fate. Sims has a clear idea what should happen.
“They better put it down or I’ll find him and do it myself,” she said.
Garrett said he’ll be glad to leave the hospital and get back home, but is disappointed he probably won’t be able to attend the first day of school at Jones Park Elementary on Aug. 8.
“I might have to be home-schooled for a few weeks,” he said.