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7-year-old girl fatally attacked by pit bull; owner formally charged with negligent homicide

1 year 5 months 1 week ago Monday, January 09 2023 Jan 9, 2023 January 09, 2023 10:13 PM January 09, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

UPDATE: The East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office has formally charged Erick Lopez with one felony count of negligent homicide.

Read the original story down below.


BATON ROUGE - A 7-year-old girl has died after being mauled by a dog Friday evening, and the animal's owner is now facing negligent homicide charges.

According to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, deputies were called around 6:35 p.m. on Kendalwood Road, off Hoo Shoo Too Road, to assist EMS and the St. George Fire Department at the scene.

In a statement Saturday, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System identified the girl as 7-year-old Sadie Davila, a first-grader at Woodlawn Elementary School.

The dog's owner, identified as 20-year-old Erick Lopez, was arrested and booked Saturday into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a charge of negligent homicide.

New details released Monday night by the family's attorney say Davila was playing "fashion show" when Lopez's pit bull "viciously attacked her" outside her family member's house, approximately 150 yards away from his own home.

According to the report, Davila was exiting the side door of the home in a princess outfit and walking through the front door which served as her "runway" when the dog attacked. The report said Davila's grandmother and others were home when the attack happened. 

The relative tried to fight off the dog by hitting it with a walking cane, but the animal didn't react.

The girl was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, with multiple dog bites to her face and severe skull damage. She later died from her injuries, deputies say.

EBR Schools Superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse released a statement Saturday addressing the tragic loss of one of their students.

Read the full statement from the school system here

Lopez told deputies he didn't have the dog on a leash during the attack, breaking parish law. He says he wasn't home at the time and that he left his dog unrestrained and free to roam before leaving his residence.

"This is an awful, heart-breaking tragedy," Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said. "My heart goes out to this family, and they will remain in my prayers."

Animal Control officials told WBRZ they found the pit bull with blood on his face and mouth. The dog was captured and euthanized Friday night. The body is being tested for rabies, and those results should be in by next week.

Lopez's bond was set at $7,500.

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