Fremont family charged in dog mauling case

June 10, 2008 11:04:43 AM PDT
Two relatives of a little 9-month-old child, mauled by the family's dog, faced a judge on Monday. They were formally charged for the attack that left the baby boy badly hurt.

The attack happened on May 27 and the women were arrested Friday. On Monday, they were formally charged with felony child abuse.

Thirty-seven-year-old Annette Marie Hodgson, who is the little boy's aunt and babysitter, and 22-year-old Samantha Laniz, who is his sister and owner of the dog, both pled not guilty.

According to the charges, they endangered the little boy's life by not controlling the boxer, named Tyson. He bit the nine-month-old, causing serious injuries to the face and neck.

The charges claim that the women knew the dog was dangerous because it had attacked before. The District Attorney said that they had downplayed that first attack so they could get their dog back.

Neighbors told ABC7, as they saw it, the dog was, in fact, a clear danger.

"It was vicious. Anybody who would pass by, the dog would bark and bark and bark. Sometimes it would jump over the fence so we wouldn't even let the kids go outside and play. We saw when the dog attacking the baby's mom. It was attacking her arm and she was yelling, but she didn't call the cops or anything. We tried to make the report, but they didn't come," said Fabiola Espinoza, a neighbor.

"If you had a dog like that, would you keep it around?" asked ABC7's Wayne Freedman.

"No," replied the neighbor.

Fremont Animal Control euthanized the dog on Friday.

In court, both women asked for reductions of their $100,000 and $105,000 bails, but the judge said no, even though Laniz is five months pregnant.

Attorneys and members of the family declined to speak with ABC7.

The women will return to court for a pre-trial hearing on Friday at 9 a.m.


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