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January 17, 2008

Man attacked by pit bull on Foster Street

A 27-year-old Gloucester man required hospital treatment after he was attacked by a pit bull that stalked him on Foster Street, according to police.



Robert Cross of 4 Cross St. told police he had tried to pet the dog, which had followed him down the street and approached him. When he bent down to rub its chin, the animal attacked. The next thing he knew, his head was in the dog's mouth and he was covered in blood, according to the police report.



The dog's whereabouts is unknown.



It was the second serious dog attack in the city in a week. Last Thursday, a Newfoundland being walked by its owner attacked a 7-year-old boy who was playing at Eastern Point Day School on Farrington Avenue. The child was transported by his mother to Beverly Hospital where he received 50 stitches to his face.



In Tuesday's incident, Cross said that a dark brown pit bull with a white left paw and white patches was following him on the opposite side of Foster Street as he walked toward Washington Street, according to a police report taken by Patrolman Jerome Ciolino at Addison Gilbert Hospital, where Cross was receiving treatment.



Cross told police that whenever he stopped, the dog stopped as well, until it finally crossed the street and approached him. According to the report, Cross said he was afraid but didn't want to show it to the dog, so he patted its head. The dog licked his hand, Cross told police, so he bent and rubbed its chin.



According to the report, the next thing Cross knew, the pit bull attacked and his face was inside the dog's mouth and he was covered in blood.



A nurse at the hospital where Cross went for treatment called police. Ciolino noted that Cross had a 11/2 inch laceration on his nose and two teeth marks on his upper arm, and was covered in blood. Cross told Ciolino that he might need plastic surgery to fix his nose.



Police looked for the dog in the Foster Street area several times Tuesday night, but did not spot it.



Jamie Levie, the city's animal control officer, did not return calls for comment yesterday and police did not have additional information on the case yesterday.



No one answered the door at Cross's home yesterday afternoon.

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