Originally created 10/07/04

Dog gets blame in infant's death

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 5-week-old Jacksonville boy died Tuesday after being mauled by a pet dog that jumped onto a bed and attacked the infant after his grandmother left the room for a minute, authorities said.

Desperate to save their son, the 19-year-old parents of Jose Diaz swaddled him in a blanket and rushed him from his grandmother's Westside home to the nearest fire station, fearing help would take too long to arrive if they called 911.

The baby's mother, Jennifer Woodjinski, rang the emergency bell at Fire Station 31 at 12:20 p.m.

Firefighter Mike Carter answered the door and started giving first aid. The baby had multiple dog bites on his face and head, including a large laceration on the right side of his head, fire officials said.

The child was taken by helicopter from the Wilson Boulevard fire station to Shands Jacksonville hospital, where he later died.

Police went to the grandmother's home at 4533 Jade Drive, a short distance from the firehouse, to investigate. The family has three dogs and, while police believe a tan 7-year-old mutt named Chance was to blame for the child's death, they photographed each of the dogs before Animal Control officers took them away.

The dog belonged to Jennifer Woodjinski, but she left it at her mother's home when she recently moved away and had her baby.

The infant's grandmother, Sun Woodjinski, 49, was going to baby-sit the infant while his mother went to her job at a nearby Taco Bell and his father, Albert Diaz, did yardwork at the house.

"It was a terrible, terrible accident," said Frank Michno, 39, who lives in the home with Sun Woodjinski, his fiance. He was at work when the mauling occurred.

Mr. Michno said the infant's mother is "completely broken up about it."


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