Boy found dead after dog attack in Paterson

Kemberly Richardson reports from Paterson.
March 3, 2014 3:24:17 PM PST
Two teenage friends were attacked by a 115-pound dog outside of a house on Sherwood Avenue Paterson, New Jersey on Friday. Scared and wounded, they ran in the opposite directions, not realizing it would be the last time they would see each other.

"The whole community is feeling this," said Reverend Carswell Jackson, the victim's neighbor.

The community is feeling the sudden and violent death of 13-year-old Kenneth Santillan, whose final minutes were spent alone in a brook.

It sits just a few feet from this blood stained dog house, where a bull mastiff named Trigger once lived, a powerful animal who killed Kenneth and attacked his classmate.

"He knew what his dog was about, knew the dog could get over the fence," said Ed Clarke, a neighbor.

Ed lives across the street from Paul Clarke, Trigger's owner,

He was there Friday night as police frantically looked for Kenneth.

The teens were walking home from school, along this strip of land behind Clarke's house, when for some reason; the dog went after the boys.

One got away but it took police hours to finally find Kenneth's mauled body.

"When you would see him walking, he'd be on the leash? Yeah big, nice chain, he'd hold him, have him tight, it wouldn't be like dog up there, he'd be down there, he'd have control of the dog," Ed Clarke said.

After attacking the boys, the 115 pound dog then turned on Clarke, who had to stab him several times, the animal was later euthanized.

Elizabeth lives next door.

"He startled you when he jumped up, he wasn't vicious or anything. (Were you ever concerned about him coming over the fence?) Yes," Elizabeth said.

So were neighbors on the other side, which is the reason why Clarke put up this double fencing.

It doesn't mean a thing to Kenneth's family, who now is desperately missing their little boy.

"I believe it's not just their child, even though it is just their child, we look at it as our children just as well, the pain is here but I believe God, that God, we're going to get through it," Rev. Jackson said.

Retired police officer Randy Billie lives on the block and says his neighbor's dog can be vicious.

"This is the second time a child has been bitten by this dog," said Billie, "every time that dog gets out, it attacks a child or anyone walking down the street. It's a huge dog, it's nothing to play with."

So far, no charges have been filed against the dog's owners. The Medical Examiner has yet to determine exactly how the teen died.

The Passaic County Sherrif's Department says the dog has been put down by Animal Control, who will now test the dog for diseases like Rabies.

Anyone with any information on the dog attack is asked to call the Paterson Police Detective Bureau at 973-321-1120.

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