Tampa girl bitten by pit bull mix released from hospital

6:05 AM, Jun 6, 2012   |    comments
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Palm River, Florida - She's reduced to tears nearly every time you mention her daughter and her condition. The mother of 3-year-old Destiny McKenzie, the girl bitten by a Pit Bull mix on Monday afternoon, is now talking about the horrific ordeal.

McKenzie was bitten while playing outside at the Palm Breeze apartments where she lives with her family on Tommy Court in Palm River. Tuesday afternoon she was back at home after being released from the hospital. 

Photos: Destiny McKenzie bitten by pit bull mix

Akesha Williams says Destiny is a strong little girl even though she's so young. She says her daughter's face is covered in cuts and it's swollen. Williams says, "I'm not worried about the scars - I'm just glad she's ok. Scars don't matter."

Williams can't help but smile when she talks about her three daughters,  6 year old Raniah, 5 year old Rihanna, and 3 year old Destiny who they call "Peanut".

But the warm smile turns into sadness when Williams thinks back on when she first saw Destiny after she'd been bitten in the face by the dog named "Bear".

Williams says with tears streaming down her face, "I just freaked out. It just scared me."

Tanya Okeke is Bear's owner who says she was just about to give him a bath outside her apartment when Destiny and her two sisters appeared. "I'm steadily telling them to move, move, get away get away."

She says as the girls were leaving Destiny got too close to Bear.
"But when she came down the last stair she slipped down and fell on him. By her falling on him that made him think she was trying to attack him and that's why he attacked her."

Destiny had to be rushed to the hospital, she underwent surgery and had to have stitches in her face. 

Monday afternoon she returned home to visits from her young friends, her head start teacher and neighbors stopping by to check in on her. Family members say well wishers brought over ballons and cakes.

10-year-old Kaya Bellamy stopped by. She lives in the apartment complex too and says she remembers hearing her friend screaming. "Everybody was pushing me back because they didn't want me to see her because I know if I saw her face I would start crying like today when I came to make sure she was okay. I started crying."

Bellamy may not get the chance to play with Peanut once she's healed because her mother is now thinking about moving away from the apartment complex. Williams feels the vicious attack could have been prevented.

She says, "But they should have put him to sleep the first time he bit someone else and if they would have put him to sleep he wouldn't have bit my baby."

Bear was put down Tuesday at Hillsborough County Animal Control Services at the request of Okeke. She's not out of the woods in the incident. She could face criminal charges in the case.

Tammie Fields, 10 News

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