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D.A. to decide if babysitter will face charges for dog attack

POSTED October 27, 2009 11:24 p.m.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Department has turned over the investigation into a fatal dog mauling to the Merced County District Attorney’s Office, which will decide if a babysitter will face criminal charges or not.
The victim of the fatal dog attack was identified as 17-month-old Colton Smith, of Delhi. According to a pathologist’s report released by the sheriff’s department, the boy died from a loss of blood due to a puncture wound to an artery in his neck.
According to the sheriff’s department, the 65 pound pit bull bit the boy around the throat and dragged him around the yard Friday morning. The babysitter, whose name has not been released, was able to free the boy by stabbing the dog with a fork multiple times.
The woman called 911, but then hung-up, deciding to take the boy to a hospital herself. She was pulled over a short distance away from the Delhi home by a deputy for driving erratically, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie. The woman, who is in her 20s, got out of the car carrying the injured toddler and gave him to the deputy, who called for an ambulance.
Colton was eventually flown to a children’s hospital in Madera, where he was pronounced dead.
The dog was brought to the Delhi residence Friday by the babysitter, who was watching it for her future in-laws, MacKenzie said.
The pit bull, “Max,” belongs to Gustavo Garcia and Martha Carrera. The couple  were in the process of moving from their home in Stanislaus County and had left the dog with the sitter for a little over a week before the incident occurred, MacKenzie said.
The pit bull will remain in quarantine in Merced County until the investigation is complete and reviewed, MacKenzie said.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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