A 5-year-old Phenix City boy was mauled to death Monday afternoon by a pack of dogs, authorities said.
Russell County Coroner Arthur Sumbry said Cason Bryant appears to have been killed by a pack of “as many as 12” mixed-breed dogs.
The boy sustained a number of severe bite marks in the alleged attack, which happened after 1 p.m. in the family’s yard at 82 McElvey Road, said Lt. Heath Taylor of the Russell County Sheriff’s Office.
Cason was pronounced dead at 2:32 p.m. at The Medical Center in Columbus.
Never miss a local story.
Sumbry ordered an autopsy and said he expects a preliminary report to be completed within a couple of days. He said the dogs were “rounded up” and will likely be euthanized.
Taylor said investigators still are considering whether to file charges in the case. He said the boy’s family owns an outside dog, but that several of the dogs involved in the attack belong to a neighbor. “Technically, you’re responsible for your dogs, but if they break under your fence, is that your fault?” Taylor said, adding the case will likely be handed over to the district attorney’s office.
“The biggest tragedy is the loss of this child,” Taylor added. “It’s a bad deal.”
Carlton Brown, a 60-year-old retired veteran who lives next door, said he and two other people attempted to perform CPR on the boy in the side yard but that “it was too late.”
“I got out there after he was already on the ground,” Brown said, adding he had heard screaming from inside his house. “Being a veteran, I’ve seen a lot worse, but it’s never good to see it happen to a young’un.”
Brown said about seven or eight dogs have been roaming around in the area for the past few weeks. He said the dogs have tried “to get my birds,” referring to his peacocks.
A man who identified himself as Cason’s uncle said that family members — many of whom gathered at Bryant’s home late Monday — were “hanging in there.” The family declined further comment.