CHULA VISTA (CNS) - A woman arrested after her pit bull attacked a four-year-old neighbor girl outside a National City apartment building pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony charge of a having a dangerous dog that she allowed to cause great bodily injury.
Brittany Morgan Gardiner, 22, was ordered held in lieu of $25,000.
A bail review was scheduled for Monday. Judge Katherine Bacal said she would consider a supervised release for the defendant, considering that she had no criminal record.
Deputy District Attorney Mary Loeb said the defendant allowed the 4-year-old to pet the roughly 65-pound dog when it suddenly lunged at the child and took a chunk of flesh out of her shoulder, then grabbed her by the face.
"The defendant did try to get her dog off the victim but she was unable to; the dog was too strong," Loeb said outside court.
It took several neighbors to get the dog off the child, according to the prosecutor.
As the child lay bleeding, Gardiner tried to flee with the dog to Tijuana, but was apprehended, Loeb said.
Medics took the girl to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, where she was admitted in serious condition with injuries to her face and upper body, Lt. Keith Fifield said.
A certified legal intern for the Public Defender's Office told the judge that Gardiner has owned the dog for more than two years and it had never shown any aggression before Wednesday's attack.
Gardiner faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
"As we have it charged, we believe that she knew about the dangerous propensity of the animal," Loeb said. "So she probably should not have allowed it around children. There are a number of things, I think, that could have been done because after the dog attacked the child she (Gardiner) was unable to control it. So she wasn't in control of that very strong and powerful animal."
The pit bull was impounded and will undergo a rabies quarantine, after which it will likely be euthanized, according to police.
A readiness conference was scheduled Oct. 19, to be followed by a preliminary hearing on Oct. 24.
Beekeeping and cheese making will be just two of the demonstrations taking place at Hawthorne Country Store’s annual fall Homesteading Arts Fair this weekend.
The relaxed new dress code at public schools in the small city of Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, is intentionally specific: Midriff-baring shirts are acceptable attire, so are tank tops with spaghetti straps and other once-banned items like micro-mini skirts and short shorts.
Nurses and other caregivers from Palomar Hospital will hold an informational picket on Wednesday to call attention to concerns about working conditions they say are detrimental to patient care.
Police Wednesday were searching for a man suspected of robbing two branches of the same insurance company at gunpoint within an hour of each other in the Clairemont and Kearny Mesa areas.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama will appear Wednesday at BOLD, the annual conference presented by wellness technology company MINDBODY.
A Caltrans worker was injured Wednesday when he fell several stories from an overpass on State Route 163 in the Kearny Mesa area, officials said.
As dockless electric scooters become more and more popular, concerns about safety for both riders and pedestrians have grown, too.
The Grand in El Cajon hosts good and fun times, but there are rules that need to be followed like the 'no weapons' policy its owner implanted nine months ago.
Temperatures continue to cool through Friday. Gusty winds in the mountains and deserts. Stronger marine layer dissipates by mid-morning.
The San Diego Housing Authority voted 8-1 Tuesday to extend three contracts for the city's Bridge Shelter Program through June 2019.