Dog attacks student on Midlands school bus

Published: May. 6, 2008 at 2:32 PM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2008 at 12:34 PM EDT
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EASTOVER, SC (WIS) - A bizarre incident happened Monday morning. A dog got on a Midlands school bus and attacked a student.

According to Karen York with Richland School District One, the incident happened on Goffman Road in the town of Eastover around 6:30am.

Eight-year-old Julian Watson had been on the bus about 20 minutes when the bus driver picked up Shawn Christenham and his sister.

That's when the dog got on ahead of Shawn. The boy says he pulled the dog off Julian's leg.

"I grabbed him by the collar really hard and took him off the bus and locked him in the back cage, but he escaped," says Shawn.

When the dog got on the bus, the students became excited. That frightened the dog, which responded by biting Julian.

According to the police report, the dog is believed to be a pit bull. Julian says the dog came on the bus. He tried get out of the dog's way, but he didn't move in time.

The dog bit his left leg twice before it was pulled off of the bus.

"I screamed and I was yelling get the dog off my leg," says Julian Watson. "It was painful. Real painful."

Julian says when the dog jumped on the other children moved near the windows, but he didn't move fast enough.

"When it bit me, I thought it was going to rip my leg off," he says.

Julian's mom Yolanda couldn't believe what the school bus driver told her over the phone.

"I wondered 'ok well, how did he get off the bus?' She said no ma'am he's on the bus. I was like what?" recalls Yolanda.

But the big concern right now is, where is the dog? Doctors are holding off further treatment until they find the dog that bit him.

Monday Richland County Animal Care confiscated a dog from this residence on Goffman Road, but that dog was not the one that bit the child.

Animal Care is still looking for the dog that attacked the young man.

Shawn's dad Thomas says the dog is a stray.

"I don't know who he belongs to, he just comes and goes," Thomas told WIS News 10.

The dog left several deep puncture wounds in Julian's left leg.

"That dog had a pretty good grip on his leg," says Yolanda.

Watson says although her family has a dog of their own, things will change for Julian.

"I doubt if he's going to be approaching any dog like it's a friendly dog again like that because of what he's been through and I can't blame him," she said.

Yolanda says doctors are waiting to see if the dog bites have affected the muscle in her son's leg.
Julian goes back to the doctor Thursday, but they don't know yet when he'll go back to school.
Animal control officials have not found the dog that did the biting. That's a big concern for the Watsons, because Julian won't be treated for rabies until they do.

Reported by Brandi Cummings

Updated by Bryce Mursch