The Cane Corso mastiff that fatally mauled a Brooklyn, N.Y., boy was a vicious dog, trained to kill, according to some neighbors, but the dog's owner described it as "like a big Scooby-Doo."
Police investigating the mauling, which happened Friday evening just after the boy, his mother, and three of his siblings had returned to the apartment, said they do not know what set off the dog, which reportedly belonged to his mother's boyfriend, Damian Jones.
Until the investigation is complete, the three surviving children were removed from the apartment by the city Administration for Children Services.
The Cane Corso mastiff bit Jayelin Graham all over his head, neck and body before family and neighbors could get him off the child.
It was already too late. He was taken to Brookdale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"Within a split second it happened," Calandra Jubeark, the boy's aunt, told ABC station WABC-TV in New York. "[Saquina Jubeark, the boy's mother] said, 'The dog wouldn't let go.' It's painful."
"What a horrible way to die. I've got a lot of frustrations, a lot of emotions, a lot of anger," the boy's grandfather told WABC-TV.
When police arrived, they tranquilized the dog and took him to the city's department of Animal Care & Control, where he was to be observed for 10 days so officials can decide what to do with him.
For some of the boy's neighbors, that would seem to be a foregone conclusion.
"Those dogs were vicious," Kenny Risher, the superintendent of the building, told the New York Daily News. "They stink and they are nasty. The same dog ate their (pet) rabbit."
A man who tried to save the boy from the dog said as soon as the dog had the child in his jaws, there was no hope.
"He was trained to kill," the man told the Daily News. "He had the boy by his throat. The dog was shaking him. He had no chance."
No charges had been filed in the case as of late Saturday.