Published January 22, 2012
LONDON – A man was arrested Sunday after a dog mauled a 6-year-old girl in front of her parents, biting off part of one ear during the attack in northeast London.
The seriously-injured girl also suffered wounds to her neck and shoulder, and police officers said she probably would be scarred for life.
She was taken to the hospital for surgery after the incident, which happened at about midday local time Saturday.
Police arrived at the scene in Waltham Forest shortly afterward, but the dog -- described as a black and white Bull Terrier-type -- and its owner had gone.
A 56-year-old man has since handed himself in and is being questioned by police.
Scotland Yard said he walked into a police station and was arrested on suspicion of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place.
Detective Sergeant Stuart Cheek of London's Metropolitan Police said, "This was an appalling incident that left a young child with serious injuries, which are likely to scar her for life."
He added, "I would appeal to anyone who saw what happened, was in the area at the time of the attack or has noticed anything since that might assist the investigation to get in touch as soon as possible. It is crucial that we find those responsible so that no one else is put at risk by this dog and its owner."
According to the Bull Terrier Club UK, the breed generally is considered "good-natured and loving to all humans" but should not always be trusted with other animals.
In October 2011, a Bull Terrier-type dog bit a six-year-old girl in the face in southwest London. She lost teeth and suffered a one-inch (2.5-centimeter) cut to her lip.