Deputies responded to 2060 Ridgecrest Road around 6:30 p.m. after Kenny Allen, 11, went to his neighbor’s house to borrow a [blender to make a milkshake], according to a York County Sheriff's Office report.
The neighbor’s 2-year-old pit bull, named Dallas, broke the clamp on its cable and attacked Kenny, severely biting him on the right hand and arm. It also tore off a large section of the boy’s scalp from the back of his head, the report states.
Officials found 4 inches of Kenny’s scalp in the yard and gave it to EMS in case it could be reattached.
EMS transported Kenny to the Bethesda No. 2 fire station. He was then flown to Carolinas Medical Center. His condition is unknown.
A deputy said that when he arrived on the scene, Dallas lunged at him and it took some time to get the animal under control.
The dog's owner, Angela Marie Oneppo, 31, told officials that Dallas normally stayed in the residence, but that she left it outside on its cable because the weather was nice, the report states.
She signed over the dog to York County Animal Control and he was euthanized this morning, said Steven Stuber, animal control director.
"It was unclear if it had been vaccinated," Stuber said, adding it will be tested for rabies.
Oneppo was charged with violating the county's nuisance ordinance, which Stuber explained allows Animal Control to issue fines if a pet attacks people.
Dallas was housed in Oneppo's backyard, Stuber said, and situated on a cable rigged with a clamp and pair of pliers. The cable, which Stuber said owners probably thought would hold the animal, was covered in plastic, making it easy for the dog to slip out if it had a running start.
"I can't imagine why (the owner) thought that cable could hold that animal," Stuber said. "That is not going to hold a plastic covered cable."
Officers on the scene took pictures of the child's injuries that will be used in court, Stuber said.
Officials did not take pictures of the dog.
"It was as bad as I've ever seen," he said.
Stuber expressed sorrow for both the victim and the dog's owner.
Doctor bills, court hearings and other legal ramifications are sure to follow, Stuber said.
The situation may lend itself to a "long and drawn out" affair, he said.
"They just all need to be together on this," Stuber said. "I just hate it for both the victim and the owner. It's unfortunate. Nobody wins in this situation."
Years to recover
For the next several years, Kenny will have to undergo extensive skin restructuring and skin grafting while also receiving hair implants to repair the damage, said his father, Kenneth Allen.
Hours after the boy was attacked, "he's doing a lot better," Allen said. "He's in good spirits."
Now, Kenny lays in a hospital bed with a vacuum attached to his head. The vacuum suctions all the excess blood and skin from the boy's head, Allen said, so the blood vessels can begin repairing.
Though he thanks God for his son's imminent recovery, Allen recalled the situation with precise detail.
At around 6:30 p.m., Allen was preparing to go to church. He realized that the battery to his van wasn't working, so he told his youngest son, Kenny, that a friend would ride by and take the boy to church.
Kenny decided he'd stay home with his dad that night.
"If he would've went to church...," Allen said.
Some minutes later, Kenny decided he wanted to make a smoothie. The family was preparing to leave for a weekend trip to DeLand, Fla., to visit Allen's mother who fell into a coma. Allen told his son not to make a shake as he would "dirty up" the house before his wife -- Kenny's mother, Becky Allen, -- returned home from work.
Kenny said: "No I won't."
He ran out of the house and crossed the street and a couple of yards to borrow a blender from neighbor Oneppo, a family friend.
Before the boy could knock on the door, Dallas leaped at the boy from behind some bushes, latched onto the back of his head with teeth and began biting, Allen said.
Allen, only a few feet away, could hear his son's screams for help.
"I thought someone was beating him up, or trying to kidnap him," he said.
He ran outside and saw Kenny running his way, holding his head. Kenny didn't stop and just ran into the house. Allen turned around and saw that a part of the back of his son's head was gone.
"I'm glad that my wife didn't see it," he said.
Kenny sat on a couch, pressing a towel on his head. Allen called 911. A neighbor, who was a nurse, came over to the house and helped Kenny apply pressure to his gaping wound.
EMS stationed at the top of the street and would not come down to the Allen's house until the dog had been kenneled, Allen said.
Once a dog catcher secured Dallas, EMS placed Kenny in the ambulance and rushed him to the Bethesda fire station.
Inside the truck, Kenny remained strong, his father said. He cracked jokes and told everyone it was going to be OK.
A med-evac copter from Carolinas Medical Center arrived at the fire station and airlifted the boy to Charlotte.
Six hours of intensive surgery later, doctors told Allen and his wife, Becky, that the discarded piece of the boy's scalp would not "take" back to his skin.
Now, surgeons are onto "Plan B," Allen said, which includes months-to-years of extensive rehabilitation.
Allen remains hopeful.
"We serve a mighty God," Allen said. "God saved him (Kenny) for us. He made him a living witness. God is not dead. He is still saving souls"
Modern day Job
Allen compared his family to a modern day version of Job, a Biblical figure who underwent a series of brutal tests to validate his devotion to God. Included in Job's tests were the death of his children and chronic illness.
Last Wednesday, Allen clutched his chest in pain. With a job at U.S. Foods and the owner of his own lawn-care business, Allen assumed he was just suffering from work exhaustion.
Around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, his brother called to tell him that their mother had been found on her bathroom floor. She died for 10 minutes before "coming back," Allen said.
Hours later, the pains in Allen's chest didn't subside. He drove himself to Piedmont Medical Center, staggered inside and learned from doctors that he was having a heart attack.
After surgical balloons and stints were planted in his chest, Allen and his family planned to go down to Florida on Thursday and visit Allen's mother, who later slipped into a coma.
That same week, someone hit Becky's new car.
"We've never had anything brand new in our lives," Allen said.
That same week, Allen's application for entering the prison ministry was declined due to offenses stemming from 18 years ago, he said.
All the heartache was a "wake up call" from God, Allen said.
Allen remarked that, in the course of the trials, he told himself he wasn't like Job at all — his three children were still alive.
Then on Wednesday night, Kenny was attacked by a dog.
"God is a loving God," Allen said with a smile. "He's (Kenny's) alive. He's not paralyzed. He's alive."
On Thursday afternoon, Allen returned home after spending the night at the hospital to clean up a bit.
Drops of dry blood are splattered on the living room floor. A towel with Kenny's blood still sits in the front yard. A balled-up bloody towel sits on the couch where Kenny spent minutes crying and waiting for the ambulance.
Standing in his front yard, Allen said he never lets Kenny go too far out of his sight.
"I always keep my eye on my son," he said.
The one time he looked away for a little bit, "this happens," he said.
Angela Oneppo was working a double shift on Wednesday when her dog attacked Kenny, said Anthony Smith, Oneppo's boyfriend and the dog's main owner.
"Dallas" has never been violent, said Smith, who added that he's raised pit bulls for 13 years.
One of them is Gabriel, a pit bull Smith bred. Dallas was the offspring of that breeding.
More than that, there weren't any clamps or pliers attached to Dallas' cable, Smith said. Instead, the dog was tethered by a cable Smith said he purchased only a week ago. The cable was advertised as weighing 100 pounds.
"Dallas weighed 60 pounds," Smith said. "In my mind, I think I'm doing the right thing."
In the years he's had his pits, Smith said Dallas has never been violent or aggressive.
"I never had this happen -- not once," he said.
Even Kenny's father confirmed that Dallas never seemed to be violent.
On Thursday, Smith drove to Allen's yard where he embraced and cried with the grieving father.
"We're friends," said both Allen and Smith.
With tears falling from his eyes, Smith apologized to Allen for the incident.
"I love that boy (Kenny)," he said.
Allen assured Smith that his son would be all right.
He also told Smith something Kenny would most likely tell him once he went to the hospital.
"I love you."
(Herald Online - May 31, 2012)