3-year-old attacked by dog while trick-or-treating in Seminole

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A dog that attacked a 3-year-old trick-or-treater Tuesday is being held at Pinellas County Animal Services for quarantine.

Lucy, a mixed breed, will be observed for ten days for rabies.

Neighbors are still shaken following the attack on Shawnee Road just before 8 p.m.

“Looking at the little boy and he had couple of cuts on his face, his face was swollen. I mean clearly, it was awful,” said Kelly Nelms.

Nelms was on her front porch carving pumpkins when she heard screaming.

“All of a sudden I just heard, ‘Kill the dog, my poor baby. Kill that dog’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God,’” she said.

Deputies said the child, Michael Lanfranchi, along with another 3-year-old, approached Damian Romero’s door.

Romero was not home, but Lucy was.

“We believe that Michael reached up and manipulated the door handle and was able to unsecure the door,” said Sgt. Wayne Gross with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

That’s when neighbors said Lucy got out and lounged at the child.

“My husband and I just started running and my neighbor that lives here, directly across the street from them, was like, ‘You have to help us, you have to help us,’” said Nelms.

The boy suffered bite marks to his head, neck and face.

Several witnesses dialed 911.

“There’s some trick-or-treaters screaming bloody murder,” said the caller to dispatch.

Romero would not go on camera, but tells News Channel 8, his door was not locked, but secured.

A woman trick-or-treating with the boy’s family claims Lanfranchi’s father Joe, was standing close by when he approached the home.

“A dog does not know an age difference. It just knows ‘this is my house, my family lives here and I’m going to protect it,’” said Nelms.

The child remains at All Children’s Hospital.


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