Owner runs off after dog attacks children in Ladson

Nine and 6-year old attacked by dog, owner runs off

LADSON, SC (WCSC) - Fourth grader Ailee Dearing's leg is slowly healing after a fast and frightening dog attack near her Ladson home.

"It felt like a thousand needles were going into my eye."

Dearing and 6-year-old Craig Graham were playing along a path very close to their home last Friday evening in Grand Oaks Reserve. Dearing says on their way home they saw a man with three dogs walking towards them. She says two of the dogs were on a leash, and the owner was repeatedly hitting the dog, that wasn't on a leash, with a stick.

"The little boy said that wasn't nice, and then all of a sudden the dog just jumped up on him and started to bite and clawed at his eye."

Dearing's older brother jumped in.

"The dog was attacking C.J. and Ailee was trying to get away," explains 12-year-old Jonathan Dearing. "The dog saw her, and the dog just attacked her, and then I was trying to hold C.J. back."

After the attack, Jonathan carried the little boy home.

The kids say the man did ask if they were ok, and when they told him that they were bleeding, he took off running."

"The hardest part for me over the last 72 hours is just keeping the anger in check and just focusing on what needs to be done as far as the kids," says Scott Dearing, Ailee and Jonathan's father.

Scott Dearing realizes it could have been much worse. He says he's worried the dog may wander into the neighborhood.

"The playground is right here, and it's not more than 100 yards down this path to the playground, the pool. There are lots of young children in this neighborhood."

The kids did not know the breed of the dogs. Dearing says the Department of Health and Environmental Control has been in touch with them. The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office is also investigating.

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