GRAYSON COUNTY (WSLS 10) -- An Independence couple is in jail after their dog attacked a 15-month-old child.
According to the Grayson County Sheriff's Office, deputies, rescue personnel and Animal Control responded to a 911 call at 443 Penn Ford Road on Wednesday, January 6, around 9:30 p.m. When they arrived they met with the residents, John Underwood and Terra Connell. Underwood told investigators he woke up after hearing the screams of a 15-month-old child he and Connell were babysitting. Underwood said their Pit Bull mix "E.J." mauled the child and had the girl's head in its mouth. Underwood was bitten in the face while trying to stop the attack. The child was flown to Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she remains in critical condition.
Underwood and Connell were both arrested on January 7 for felony child neglect and possessing a vicious dog. Connell is also charged with possession of illegal drugs and possession of ammunition by a felon. Both are in the New River Valley Regional Jail without bond.
Grayson County Animal Control seized the dog. The officer said the county hadn't received any prior reports about the dog but said witnesses have reported noticing aggressive behavior previously. A decision regarding the animal is pending court action.
Underwood and Connell are scheduled to be arraigned on January 11 in Grayson County Court.