OKLAHOMA CITY - A metro 12-year-old boy is in the hospital after he was attacked by a pit bull.
The chaotic ordeal played out over the weekend in a neighborhood near Rockwell and Melrose in northwest Oklahoma City.
Now, animal control is investigating to figure out whether or not the dog may have been provoked.
A neighbor said she heard kids scream, ran next door and found 12-year-old Elijah covered in blood, sitting in a chair on the patio. She said she knows the homeowners and the dog and never thought the dog would do this.
“He was covered in blood,” said Teri Jones. “All I heard was 'Blanco attacked me.'"
Jones immediately called police.
“I wrapped it in a towel, and someone had given him a towel to put on his face,” she said.
Blanco is Jones's neighbor's pit bull. She said she was confused because he was never vicious.
“I was very shocked,” she said. “I have never seen him chase a dog, let alone a kid. And, they have kids in and out all the time, so I was never worried about it. You hear him in the backyard, playing.”
Jones said the mother who lives next door was at work when it happened and the oldest child was babysitting. She heard the mother tell her children they weren't allowed to have anyone over while she's working, but they apparently didn't follow her rules.
“I found out they were playing hide and go seek,” she said.
And, that's what may have provoked the attack.
“I'm sure that Blanco thought he was trying to hurt one of the kids that live here,” Jones said.
Barbara North, Elijah's grandmother, said she's thankful Jones went to help.
“My grandson could've died,” North said. “It took off the right cheek of his face. His face isn't ever going to be the same. It messed up his arm, broke his arm, messed up his hand. He's got a lot of serious damage on him.”
Jones hopes dog owners use this as a lesson because she said it could've happened to anyone, not just pit bull owners.
"Pit bulls get a bad name,” she said. “It was a vicious attack, don't get me wrong, it was a vicious accident. You have to take precautions and make sure the kids are around the dogs when there are adults there so the dogs don't feel threatened. That's about all you can do because it can happen to any breed of dog.”
Elijah is still recovering at OU Childrens. His mom said he still has more surgeries ahead.