NATIONAL CITY) – After getting mauled by a pitbull last Tuesday, one little girl from National City got a big surprise Thursday from both the city’s finest and bravest.
The National City Police Department and National City Fire Department caravaned from the police station to four-year-old Hailey Nunez’s apartment complex, where they surprised her with presents, including board games and crayons.
Police said the caravan and gifts are meant to welcome Hailey home and to celebrate her successful recovery. “Hailey kind of, just struck a chord with us, and we’re just excited because we never see the aftermath of the healing process,” said Sergeant Julian Villagomez of the National City Police Department.
Hailey suffered serious injuries to her face and right shoulder from the attack. She was treated at Rady Children’s Hospital the same day. Family members said she was released two days after.
Hailey’s mother, Ruby Nunez, said she’s grateful for the community support because Hailey is still suffering from the aftershock. “Right now, she’s still scared,” Ruby Nunez said. “She has probelms sleeping and stuff, but we’re going to go day by day to try and help her out.”
According to police, the attack happened in the courtyard of the Nunez’s apartment complex on October 9th. The pitbull’s owner, Brittany Gardiner, 22, is also a resident in the complex.
Police said Hailey, after asking Gardiner if it was alright, had gone to pet the dog when it attacked. Police said the attack was so severe that, at one point, the dog had Hailey’s entire face in its jaws, and neighbors had to hit with whatever they could find – rocks, bricks, even a chair – to make it let go.
Gardiner is facing charges of child endangerment and could face up to three years in prison if convicted. Since the attack, Gardiner has voluntarily euthanized the dog.
The Nunezes said Gardiner and her family have brought presents to apologize and have been checking in on them. Sergeant Villagomez said it is always the responsibilty of the dog owner to make sure the dog is safe to be around.