Sunday, February 1, 2004

Boy hospitalized
after dog attack

The 9-year-old child from
Waianae goes to Queen's
Medical Center in serious condition

A dog, which neighbors said was a pit bull, attacked a 9-year-old Waianae boy yesterday afternoon, sending him to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition with bites to his head, neck, arms, and legs.

Residents of the Ala Walua Street cul-de-sac where the incident occurred say Ikaika Rhine was playing with about six other children at about 2 p.m. when the dog got out of a gated fence and attacked him.

Nunu Tauar, 12, was one of the kids in the area when the dog attacked Rhine.

"It was unbelievable," she said, adding that a relative of the owner let the dog out by accident. "I was scared."

Police said the dog's owner was given a citation for having a dangerous animal. The dog was returned to its owner pending an investigation.

Police said they couldn't confirm if the dog was a pit bull.

Neighbors of the animal's owner say he has four dogs, none of which have attacked before.

But that doesn't stop Robert Fraquera from worrying about another attack.

"There's a lot of kids playing in that area and it's sad that something like that happened," he said. "We're concerned. We've got children."

Lenora Kahakai was home yesterday when she heard screams coming from across the street.

When she ran out to help, she saw the dog gripped on Rhine's arm. She said the dog's owner and others were trying to get the animal off the child.

By the time the dog was under control, the child had bites to his head, neck and legs and a large injury on his arm, Kahakai said.

No other children were injured in the incident.


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