JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A child struck by a vehicle Thursday morning just blocks from UF Health Hospital in Jacksonville was chased into the street by a dog, according to witnesses and city officials.
Neighbors said they saw the boy being chased by a dog near the intersection of 13th and Davis streets. The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said the child was hit in the intersection around 8:30 a.m.
"It was because of the dog," witness Tammy Francis said. "It was a little boy and he got to running and he got hit. But it wasn't the woman's fault. And he went up into the air, fell down and he got hurt really bad."
A young woman told News4Jax her mother, who is a nurse, helped the child until emergency personnel arrived. The child, whose age was not released, was rushed to a hospital, authorities said.
Witnesses said the driver who hit the child remained at the scene and cooperated with police.
Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services responded and found a large black dog tethered on the front porch of a home. The dog's owner, Gregory Harmon, said the dog, named Bruno, slipped out of his collar and chased the child across the street. The Animal Care report said the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office provided video showing the chase and the child being hit.
Harmon told Animal Care workers he had seen children harassing the dog and throwing debris at the animal before, even a brick. Harmon was given a citation for letting his dog loose and he was provided information about vaccination and licensing.
The road where the child was hit is a busy one with a lot of people who walk up and down it, and it's a route many children who live in the area take to get to school. We don't know if the boy was headed to school when he was hit.
A man told News4Jax that the dog he believes was chasing the boy has been a nuisance for a while, and he's not surprised something like this happened, saying the dog is dangerous.
"We have to cross over to keep from being in danger of that dog and we try to explain that to the man that owns the house, and he ignores the responsibility of his dog," resident Tommie Chapman said. "We knew it was going to happen to somebody because you know how children are when they're not familiar with dogs -- they go to running."