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The three pit bull dogs that attacked a 6-year-old South Sioux City boy on Sunday will be put down, the South Sioux City city manager has decided.

City Manager Lance Hedquist said no date has been set for the euthanization, but it has been decided the dogs will not be returned to their owner, Jonathon Peterson of South Sioux City.

Just after 11 a.m. Sunday, the boy was riding his bike out of Stanton Place trailer court at 801 E. Ninth St., when he was attacked, according to the city police department. He suffered puncture wounds that required hospitalization at Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City.

One of the two people who interceded to beat back the dogs told her story Wednesday. Gail Sailer, who lives in the trailer court, said she swung a rake at the dogs, while another male resident of the court grabbed a metal fence pole to knock away the dogs from the boy, who she said has the first name Michael.

More than three days after the incident occurred, Sailer said she's haunted by visions of the attack. "What happened on Sunday was the most horrifying thing," she said. "I don't sleep at night."

Sailer said the boy's arm was wounded so severely, it broke a few inches above his wrist. She described her sister holding him in a blanket until paramedics arrived.

"He was terrified and saying to my sister, 'I don't want to die,'" Sailer said.

She said the dogs weren't provoked by the child.

"He was just riding his bike. This kid wouldn't hurt a flea," Sailer said.

She said her neighbor gripped the pole so tightly to beat back the pit bulls that his hand suffered lacerations.

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The dogs were taken to South Sioux City Animal Control Sunday after the attack. Per city code, Hedquist had 10 days to decide what to do with the dogs. Sailer supported Hedquist's decision to euthanize the dogs.

"It has upset a lot of people in South Sioux City," she said of the attack.

Peterson also lives in the trailer court. He was cited by police Sunday for three counts of keeping a dangerous animal and letting the animals roam at large. He also received a prior June charge for letting animals roam at large.

County attorney Ed Matney reported he received copies of the South Sioux City police reports on the matter from city attorney Wayne Boyd Wednesday for review as to whether state charges for Peterson would be appropriate.

Bret Hayworth may be reached at (712) 293.4203 or brethayworth@siouxcityjournal.com

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