Horror as girl attacked by ‘pit bull’ in park as father ‘had to get the dog off her head’

A father fought to free his daughter from the grip of a pitbull dog which clamped its jaws on her head, a horrified witness said.

The girl, believed to be around 3 years old, was playing in Mansfield Park, north-east London with her parents and a baby in a pram when she was attacked at around 3.15pm on Tuesday.

The police who arrived at the scene at the top of the hill took the dog away from the owner. The child was rushed to the hospital for treatment, where his injuries were not considered life-threatening, police said.

A witness said the “small brown pitbull-type dog” was walking around the park when he heard frantic screams.

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A file image of a pitbull cross similar to the breed described by a witness

(PA file)

said Richard Woodburn, 53 The independent: “The dog had come to me as I use the park as a barrier to go home, but I just ignored it. The owner was yelling at the dog to turn around.

“Then I heard him shouting louder and louder and then I heard him screaming. I ran back up the hill, but the owner was already holding the dog.

“Dad had to get the dog out of her head. He was injured in his hands.”

He added: “At first I didn't think anything was wrong because her mother was holding her so close. But police wanted to ascertain whether there were any injuries.

“So she showed me the side of her head and it was covered in blood.”

The witness added: “The father was blaming himself for taking his children to the park. How ridiculous to think like that? I really felt for him as he felt so guilty.

“The girl was crying at first and then she was in shock. Another older girl looked properly injured.

“When the officer arrived to administer first aid he told the paramedics that he would probably need stitches.”

A Met spokesman confirmed the dog had been seized.

“The child was taken to hospital for treatment. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening,” they added. “No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing.”

A Cane Corso is accused of biting a baby in Barnsley in a separate incident

(Getty iStock/ Linas Toleikis)

The incident is the latest in a string of dog attacks – some of them fatal – across the country in recent weeks.

It came hours after a ten-month-old baby needed surgery after being attacked by a normally “loved and affectionate” family dog.

The Cane Corso X is said to have shown no previous signs of aggression before biting the boy as he began to cry at his home in Barnsley on Tuesday morning. The baby remains in hospital in stable but serious condition.

Police said the attack was out of character for the dog, which has no previous history of aggression, with the owner describing it as “pleasant” and “affectionate” with children.

A five-year-old boy suffered serious injuries after being attacked by a suspected Staffordshire Bull Terrier in Ashington on Sunday.

The child is currently being treated at the hospital for serious but non-life threatening injuries, police said