His mom Ericka Gilstrap, a single mother of four, stated that they had reported the dogs earlier but nothing was done.
A single mother's nightmare came true when her 11-year-old son was attacked by three dogs on Friday while riding his bike. Justin Gilstrap suffered a torn scalp, bites on his legs, and almost lost one of his ears in the attack and was rushed to the hospital. According to a GoFundMe set up by his mother Ericka Gilstrap, the Columbia County boy is "currently intubated and sedated at CHOG in PICU."
The 11-year-old's body is covered in bruises and he had multiple face lacerations as well. The doctors couldn't "close the wound on his leg, and now he’s running a fever," his mother said. Ericka added, "The sad thing is we have reported these dogs several times before! Columbia County did nothing! It’s sad it took this for them to finally do something." She continued to state that as a single mom of 4, she will "have to be out of work for a little bit" and her son "is going to have to have a few more surgeries" so she will need help with his medical bills. "This has truly been a living nightmare," Ericka wrote in an update.
The incident took place when Justin was riding the bike he’d gotten for Christmas back home. He was trailing behind his older brother and cousin. The young boy was pulled into a ditch and attacked by three Pit bulls before he could make it home. His 11-year-old cousin found him injured and called 911. “If my nephew had not heard him screaming, he would’ve been dead in that ditch,” his mother told WJBF.
Burt Baker III arrived on the scene and allegedly "admitted that the dogs were his and later stated they like to chase people on bicycles," according to a statement by the sheriff's office provided to The Augusta Press. "After learning from Animal Control Officer Dana Csira that Baker has had reports and warnings in the past, Burt was taken into custody and charged with Reckless Conduct.”
The 26-year-old has since been released on bond, according to WRDW. Columbia Board of Commissioners said in a statement, "After a review of county records, Columbia County Animal Services has responded to various complaints concerning multiple dog issues in the Rolling Meadows subdivision over the last several years. Animal Services has had limited interactions with the owner of these particular dogs in the past and warnings for allowing the dogs to run free were issued. Columbia County Animal Services has no record of these dogs being aggressive towards humans until this incident."
According to more recent updates on the GoFundMe account, Justin is "awake and able to talk in small intervals." He is scheduled for more surgeries and has a long road to recovery ahead of him.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe