NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two pit bulls are dead, and a four-year-old girl named Harmony Halyer is badly hurt, after the dogs attacked her on Thursday July 3 shortly before 8pm, according to an announcement issued by Police Department Director Anthony Caputo and Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey.
Halyer's mother, Quadirah Banks, received a phone call about the mauling, and quickly hurried to their Lufberry Avenue home, where the attack occurred. Lufberry Avenue is located between Route 27 and Jersey Avenue, in the Lincoln Gardens section of the city.
According to authorities, the pit bulls mauled the girl in a house on Lufberry Avenue, and three city police officers fired an "undisclosed number" of shots, killing both animals. The child was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where she remains in critical condition.
According to the girl's uncle, Richard Bailey, "she had some bite marks on her little cheeks, her hands, arms, across her head." The girl's dad, who was unidentified, said she was put in a coma by doctors, but is expected to survive.
Quadirah Banks says her cousin went into action upon hearing Harmony's screams. According to Banks, "he grabbed the phone, he called the police, he hit the dogs with all types of chairs."
According to authorities, "neither the child nor a babysitter who was in the room at the time was injured by the gunfire."
The shooting, however, woke up a neighbor, who didn't want her name publicized. She thought a robbery was going on, and fear kept her from either going back to sleep or heading outside.
It is not clear who is the owner or owners of the dogs. The Middlesex County Prosecutor's office has taken control of the investigation, according to the press release.
The police have not filed charges against anybody.
This mauling follows a Newark incident, in February, in which two pit bulls critically injured a 10-year old boy, leading to a charge against the father for endangering the welfare of a child.
Police shot both of the dogs in that incident, although only one died.
Last month, a pit bull pounced on a police officer in Howell Township, only to get killed by a bullet fired from his gun shortly afterwards. The officer escaped unharmed.