PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The parents of a 6-year-old Long Island boy who said their son was attacked by a dog on a school playground is suing the dog’s owners for $30 million.
Andrew Esposito was playing in the schoolyard at Sousa Elementary School in Port Washington when a lab mix allegedly got away from its owners as it was being walked through the playground.
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The 6-year-old’s father, Ed Esposito, said his son had gone up to pet the dog when he was attacked.
“I turn over and I see my son face down in the dirt,” he told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “My wife runs over to him and starts screaming ‘his ear, his ear! Look for his ear!'”
There are signs prohibiting dogs from entering school grounds, according to the Esposito’s attorney, Rosemarie Arnold, who added the dog is known to be “aggressive” and “vicious.”
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“There are children on the block that are afraid to walk to the bus stop because this dog growls and shows teeth,” Arnold said.
The Espositos put their son’s earlobe on ice and took it to the hospital, but doctors were not able to reattach it. Arnold called the boy’s injuries “catastrophic.”
“This is an adorable, 6-year-old boy who had his earlobe chewed off,” she said.
“He’s been telling everybody that his ear’s growing back, so he thinks that his ear’s growing back. He doesn’t understand what is going on,” Ed Esposito told CBS 2’s Don Dahler.
The lawsuit claims the dog’s owners, Michael and Deborah Levine, were careless and reckless.
The Levines live in Port Washington, but a person who answered the door Monday told CBS 2’s Dahler the couple had no comment, and neither did the Levines return calls asking for their side of the story.
Meanwhile, Andrew Esposito’s father said the boy’s brothers and friends are trying to lift his spirits.
“They’ve rallied around with other kids in the community to make him feel normal,” Ed Esposito said.
Animal Control officers told the Espositos they could do nothing about the dog after the alleged attack, because this was the first time it was accused of biting someone, CBS 2’s Dahler reported.
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