Dog escapes from vehicle, bites student, teacher inside Hamden school

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A child and a teacher are recovering after being bit by a dog in a Hamden school Wednesday morning.

The Hamden Assistant Superintendent of Schools Chris Mellillo says around 8:05 a.m., students were arriving at the Helen Street School. Police say 46-year-old Leon Mitchell of Hamden was transporting his child to school when his 7-month-old American Bulldog escaped from his vehicle.

Mellillo says the dog followed the students into the school. He says the students got excited there was a dog, when it bit a a 5-year-old student in the leg.

A teacher tried to gain control of the dog by opening the dog’s mouth and was bitten, as well. The teacher sustained an injury to her finger. Another teacher was able to remove the canine from the small child.

Both the student and the teacher were treated at the school nurse’s office, but the parents of the bitten child brought their child to Yale-New Haven Hospital for medical treatment.

Parents arriving to pick up their children from the school on Wednesday afternoon said they hadn’t been notified of the incident.

“Scary. I have a son here you know. He’s a preschool son. He’s five years. It’s really scary to hear that,” said Virginia Cohetero.

“I think the principal should have called home and said this is an incident that happened in the school and everybody is okay, but nothing. I guess we’re getting a letter home in the mail and that aggravates me because my son is five and he is in kindergarten,” said Rebecka Sasso.

The Animal Control Division says they have transported the canine to the North Haven Animal Shelter for an off-property quarantine. They say the dog will be quarantined at the shelter for the state mandated 14 days. Officials say the dog was up-to-date on its shots.

Hamden Police say the dog was not on a leash at the time it ran away from its owner. Captain Ronald said the owner will most likely be charged and have to pay a penalty in this case.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Animal Control Officer Christopher Smith at (203) 230-4080.

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