Lakeland girl, 6, mauled by pit bulls, recounts horrifying attack

6:47 PM, Dec 6, 2013   |    comments
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Lakeland, Florida -- A little girl from Lakeland is speaking about a vicious pit bull attack that landed her in the hospital.

Six-year-old Alicia Battles was viciously attacked Thursday by two dogs that have already been in trouble twice before this year. And by the time they were able to corral the animals this time, three more people had also been bitten.

"They were dragging me everywhere," said Alicia, her small body still bandaged.

From her hospital bed at Tampa General, she bravely recounted how she was mauled by two pit bulls yesterday. A terrifying attack which will likely scar her for life in more ways than one.

PHOTOS: Lakeland girl attacked by pit bulls

"I thought they were gonna be nice but then they came towards me and they started biting me," said Alicia.

As she was playing outside her home along Montrose Avenue in Lakeland the dogs jumped the backyard fence and attacked Alicia.

Doctors say she was severely bitten on her arms, legs and stomach. Her abdominal wound was so deep it exposed her organs.

"She's only six years old. She doesn't know what to do." said Alicia's 14-year-old cousin Carmeshia, who couldn't help but cry as she recalled images of the attack.

She heroically grabbed Alicia and ran for safety even as the dogs tried to attack her as well.

"We took her to the ambulance and she was shaking saying the dogs are coming back, the dogs are coming back. They're gonna eat us. I don't want to die. I'm too young... no!"

The two dogs, named Boss and Promise, are owned by a neighbor, 43-year-old Tanya Morse.

Morse was cited for letting the dogs run loose and having improper tags. Records show the same two animals had been in two previous biting incidents earlier this year.

Craig Burke with Polk Co. Animal Control says, "We've impounded the dogs. They're being held on quarantine."

Three other people were bitten in this latest attack before the dogs were finally corralled.

Family members say Alicia should be able to go home in a few days. And while she's already expressed a fear of dogs, she's remained brave through the whole ordeal.

"I wasn't crying," said Alicia.

It will now be up to Lakeland Police to decide if any criminal charges should be filed in the case.

Tanya Morse, we're told, has refused to relinquish custody of her dogs. So it will be up to a judge now to decide what should happen to them.

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