A Pit Bull Attack in Effingham County Continues to Shake up a Guyton Neighborhood

Brandon Lee and his brother Byron like playing outside, while their father works in a trailer home community along Howard Avenue.

But that past time turned violent two weeks ago, when Brandon was attacked by a pit bull named Romeo, while running past an unmarked trailer. " I saw the dog, the dog saw me, and the dog ran at me. I ran, but he tackled me," said Brandon.

The dog wrapped himself around Brandon's legs, then proceeded to bite the boy on the calf and stomach. Brandon managed to kick and punch the dog hard enough to get away. He ran home to his parents who immediately called 911.

The dog's owner, Stephanie Wallace, said in an interview with WTOC Thursday night, the dog was on private property when the attack occurred. She said Romeo was chained up with no trespassing signs posted around.

But neighbors and the family said on Saturday the dog wasn't on the owners property, he was a block away from his home, hiding under a trailer. The family had the Animal Control citation to prove it. "That dog wasn't where they're saying he was. They're lying about where the dog's actual location was, and that's not right," said Brandon's father, Ronald Lee.

Ronald said the dog was chained up when the attack happened, but he was hidden under a trailer, not visible to the naked eye. The chain the dog was tied to blended into the surroundings -- and was easy to pull loose from the ground. "It's got a tree root. That's not much to be holding a pit bull, a big dog like that," exclaimed Ron.

The fact that the dog was chained still doesn't satisfy Brandon's dad. He said the dog shouldn't have been there in the first place. "I work for the owner, I've been here three years, and that dog has not been here, that girl is not even a tenant. There was no permission for that dog to be there. Nobody said anything to my boss about the dog even being there."

The dog is gone for now. Romeo is still being held by the Effingham County Animal Control. Judge Preston Exley had originally ordered that the dog be put to sleep. But on Friday announced he would allow the Romeo to live, if Stephanie Wallace takes out a fifteen thousand insurance policy on the dog. But Brandon and his family hopes its gone for good. "I think it should go to heaven," exclaimed Brandon.

We did try to contact Stephanie Wallace, but she did not return our calls.

Reported by: Melanie A. Ruberti; mruberti@wtoc.com