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2 boys bitten by pit bull; dog quarantined

A dog that, police say, bit two 12-year-old boys in Lyndhurst last Tuesday, June 11, was involved in two prior biting incidents, police records show.

Police have issued summonses to the owner who is due to appear in Lyndhurst Municipal Court on June 25 while the canine is being held at the Bergen County Animal Shelter in Teterboro for 10 days to determine if it is a “vicious animal.”

In the June 11 incident, police said a Lincoln School crossing guard called emergency 911 at 11:11 a.m. to report that a pit bull had run out from the rear of a residence in the 600 block of Valley Brook Ave. and attacked the two students, who were reportedly on a lunch break, as they walked along the sidewalk.

Police said that after both boys were bitten on the thigh on upper buttocks, they ran to Lincoln School where they were met by police and an ambulance that transported them to Hackensack University Medical Center for treatment of what was characterized as “non-life threatening” injuries.

It’s unclear why the dog attacked the two boys, police said.

Police reported the incident to the Lyndhurst Health Department and then went to the dog owner’s home where, according to police, the dog – a mixed pit bull Labrador called Harley – had returned after the biting incident. P

olice said the owner, listed as Lorena Castillo, 22, wasn’t aware that the dog had left the rear yard to go after the boys. Police said that when they got to the house, Castillo’s sister, Nataly, 28, was with the dog.

After reviewing Health Department records, police issued summonses to Lorena Castillo, charging her with having an unlicensed dog, no dog tag, and failing to provide proper dog vaccinations. Police also wrote out summonses to Nataly Castillo, charging her with allowing a dog to run at large and allowing an injury caused by dog bite.

Both are due in court on June 25.

Meanwhile, the pit bull has been placed in the hands of the county animal shelter for a 10-day quarantine. If the dog is determined to be dangerous, police said the court could either compel the owner to surrender the dog, possibly to be put down, or to keep the dog in a specially-secured cage.

Police said the same pit bull was alleged to have attacked an adult and a boy in two prior incidents, both of which, they said, were reported to the Lyndhurst Health Department.

On Sept. 14, 2011, police said a 44-year-old Lyndhurst man told police he was attacked three days previously by a pit bull allegedly known to be Harley. The man told police he’d just parked behind the stores at Ridge Road and Valley Brook Ave. and exited his car when the dog came running at him. As he tried to flee, the man said, he tripped and fell and was then bitten on the forearm. Police said they didn’t know why the man waited several days before reporting the incident.

On April 2, 2010, police said that Harley ran out from the rear yard of the owner’s home and bit an 8-year-old boy in the back of his left leg as he was walking with his sister on Valley Brook Ave. In this case, the dog bite didn’t break the boy’s skin, police said.

Other incidents logged by Lyndhurst Police during the past few weeks included these:

June 10

At 12:28 a.m., the Lyndhurst owner of a commercial car service called police to report that someone had smashed the driver’s side window of a 2009 Chevrolet Suburban while it was parked in the Courtyard by Marriott on Polito Ave. and removed a GPS, a wireless credit card scanner and keys to other company vehicles. The owner estimated the value of the lost items at $2,000, police said.

June 9

Dominique D’Angelo, 27, of North Arlington, was issued a shoplifting summons at 10:49 p.m. at the ShopRite on New York Ave. after police said she was stopped by store security after trying to walk out with $25.06 worth of miscellaneous items concealed in the pockets of her sweatshirt.

June 6

The owner of a shed in the 100 block of Page Ave. called police at 12:45 p.m. to report that someone had unscrewed the metal clasps fastening the doors of the shed to force their way inside and removed an estimated $5,000 worth of power garden tools.

June 2

At 1:30 a.m., police responded to the scene of a motor vehicle accident in the 200 block of Cleveland Ave. where three parked cars had been struck. Upon arrival, police said they were met by a woman standing outside a 2010 Mazda, screaming, “My car is totaled. Arrest me.” At the same time, police said, a male companion told officers he’d tried to drive the car until it became disabled after leaking anti-freeze. Both the woman, Kara Salvatoriello, 28, of Belleville, and her companion, Bartholom Lore, 38, also of Belleville, were charged with DWI. Police additionally charged Salvatoriello with refusal to submit to an Alcotest, reckless driving, resisting arrest, aggravated assault (for allegedly trying to bite an officer), and disorderly conduct. Salvatoriello was taken to Bergen Regional Hospital, Paramus, for observation. The Mazda was towed from the scene.

– Ron Leir

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