Family unsure what triggered dog attack

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Budda, a male pit bull, awaits his fate Tuesday at the Clovis Animal Shelter.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

An ordinary family afternoon turned to panic when Miguel Ibarra heard little Arianna’s screams and turned to see her being viciously attacked by a dog.

While his other children watched in horror, he rushed over to aid his daughter, her head in the male pit bull’s mouth.

The 32-year-old said he got the dog off Arianna only to be attacked himself.

“He bit my finger and swallowed my finger. He was just chewing me up, biting me, until he got a hold of her stomach, then he locked on her stomach and yanked her into the trampoline,” he recalled.

“I was kicking him trying to get him to let go of her.”

Ibarra said his 14-year-old daughter disregarded his yells to stay back and came to help, eventually making it possible to get Arianna free from the dog’s jaws.

In the Friday afternoon attack at their home in the 900 block of Beta Street, Ibarra lost his finger and has numerous bite wounds to his legs.

Released from a Lubbock hospital Tuesday afternoon, Arianna has 28 stitches in her legs alone and bite wounds, mostly on her lower body, from the attack.

“She tells me, ‘You didn’t let me die, Daddy’,” he said, explaining the trauma and guilt of the situation is still with him.

“I blame myself a lot for it. I could have helped her more … I was scared.”

Ibarra said the dog was a high-dollar male that belonged to his friend, which he was keeping in his yard to breed to his female.

Though he had told the children not to play in the yard alone, that day he thought it would be OK because he was there with them, feeding the dogs while the children jumped on the trampoline.

Ibarra said he still doesn’t know what prompted the attack. The kids were playing away from the dogs and nothing seemed to spark it.

Prior to the attack, Ibarra said the male had been friendly and he had never shown any signs of aggression.

“I’ve had them (pit bulls) all my life. I’ve never seen nothing like that,” he said. “I never thought that would happen to us… I don’t know what lit him up.”

Clovis police Capt. Patrick Whitney said the incident is under investigation for statutes governing owning a vicious dog.

The dog has been placed in a 10-day quarantine at the animal shelter for observation and will likely be euthanized if it’s determined to be a dangerous animal, he said. Wednesday is the fifth day of the quarantine.

Ibarra said after what the family has experienced, the dogs (he has three of his own) are going to have to go.

“My daughter (Arianna) asked me (to get rid of them) and I’m going to have to grant her wish,” he said. “I wouldn’t let a kid around a dog like that no more.”

Efforts to contact the owner, Manuel Beolez, have been unsuccessful.

Ibarra said he and Beolez have spoken about the incident and there are no hard feelings. He said they accept it as an unfortunate accident.