Boy recovering from injuries in Street dog attack

May 15, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

A 5-year-old Street boy is recuperating from multiple dog bites that left wounds requiring more than 150 stitches on his scalp, forehead, neck and arm.

Tammy Nicholson, the boy's mother, said a doctor at Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace spent about three hours stitching the wounds.

The physician told Mrs. Nicholson that he lost count of the number of stitches but that he expected the wounds to heal nicely.

Brent Nicholson, of the 3200 block of Old Forge Hill Road near Palmer State Park, has suffered damage to facial and arm muscles and will have to undergo plastic surgery.

The Dublin Elementary School kindergarten student was attacked May 5.

According to Sheriff's Office reports, the boy was playing with other children in Patricia Hooker's yard when her dog --ed out of the house.

The 18-month-old mixed chow named Sparky knocked the boy to the ground and began biting him.

It was unclear whether the boy or a young relative of Ms. Hooker opened the door allowing the dog to get out.

Sparky was turned over to county Animal Control officials, who put him to sleep May 6.

Leonard Walinski of the county Health Department said the owner turned the dog over because of its unpredictable disposition.

Animal Control officials issued a citation to Ms. Hooker because the dog did not have a valid license.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Walinski said Wednesday that rabies tests performed on Sparky were negative.

The dog's mother had bitten Brent in March 1993 when he was playing in his own yard, Mrs. Nicholson said.

Mrs. Nicholson is thankful that Brent's injuries will heal, but she worries about her son when he notices people staring at him, as he did at Wednesday night's Orioles game, or when he asks why he can't go to school, or run outside in the yard.

"It's difficult, explaining to him," she says. "But for the next six weeks, he has to be with Mommy or Daddy all the time."

She said he must be kept under close supervision because any '' scratches on his face over the next six weeks could make the scarring worse.

He also must be protected from bumping his head for the next six months.

"How can I ever explain why there will be no swimming allowed this summer?" she says.

"We'll get through it, a day at a time."

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