NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A 10-year-old boy is in critical condition after being mauled by dogs in Newark Wednesday morning.

Newark police said the boy was left alone in an apartment on Hawkins Court with two pit bulls. They said the boy lives at the home with the dogs, 1010 WINS reported.

According to Det. Eugenio Gonzalez, officers were called to the residence around 11:30 a.m. after a neighbor reported hearing someone screaming for help.

Robert Michael Ricks told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones the dogs’ growling and the boy’s call for help prompted him to kick down the door to the second-floor apartment.

That’s when he discovered the two pit bulls attacking the boy, Jones reported. “They both were basically chewing on him. And they turned around and burst at me,” Ricks said.

Ricks said he had to fight off the dogs with a chair, but it was enough of a distraction that the boy was able to crawl away from his attackers.

The dogs also charged at one of the responding police officers, forcing the officer to fire his weapon, Newark police said.

Both of the pit bulls were shot. One of them was critically injured.

The boy was rushed to University Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.

The dogs belong to the boy’s father. Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said she is considering whether to file charges in the case.

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