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5-year-old boy mauled to death by pit bull

James Nevils III died Monday night after he was attacked by a pit bull on the South Side. | Family photo

A 5-year-old boy was enjoying a Memorial Day get-together at a relative’s South Side home when he was mauled to death by a pit bull.

On Tuesday, neighbors in the 8900 block of South Carpenter said they were devastated by the death of James Nevils III.

Marsha Gardner, who lives two doors from the home, said the family had moved in just three months ago.

UPDATE:

Citations, no charges for dog’s owner

Gardner didn’t see the attack, but she heard a noise and stepped outside, where she saw a woman holding the boy, and the dog’s dead body on the front yard.

“I just came back into the house. I couldn’t just watch her cry, the mother. She was just holding him. It was too late and she was holding him, and crying,” Gardner said. “She was holding her baby, and he was just lifeless.”

She said neighbors stood across the street, stunned at what had happened.

Neighbors say two teens on the block heard the attack and came running with whatever they could find, including bricks, poles, sticks and rocks. The teens, and others who saw what happened, beat the dog and killed it, but it was too late for James.

Chicago Police at the scene of the pit bull attack on Monday night. | NVP News video

Bianca White, a neighbor who lives across the street, saw the attack. She said the teens were able to get the dog away from James by throwing objects at it.

“They stabbed it, threw a big rock on it,” White said. “They just started attacking it.”

Gardner said the white and brown pit bull was usually in the back yard and not “free or loose.”

“They mostly kept it inside, or in a cage. There are no basements in these rows of houses so they kept it in the house or the garage,” Gardner said.

James, of the 8000 block of South Escanaba, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died, authorities said.

An autopsy on Tuesday found he died of multiple sharp and blunt force injuries to his head and his neck. His death was ruled an accident.

Police said no one was in custody Tuesday evening.