Exclusive: Police charge Columbus man in pit bull attack

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Brianna Watkins remembers every detail from the night of November 11th.

"I thought I was going to die that night," she said.

Around midnight, a sound caught her attention in the backyard of her Celia Drive home, where she lives with her grandparents.

Columbus Police say a neighbor's pit bull got loose, climbed a fence five feet tall and attacked the 12-year-old girl.

"I guess he was going to play with me and then he tripped me and started to attack. I started to go into shock right away when he started attacking my head. At first, it felt like a bee sting. I couldn't yell, scream, I couldn't say anything," Watkins told News Leader 9.

The mauling left Brianna mutilated.

She lost both of her ears, most of her scalp, and some of her vision.

Some of the nerves in her face were also damaged which now keeps her from smiling.

She was in the hospital for weeks and when she finally got out, she identified the dog that attacked her to police.

"I guess God was looking after me. It's been scary but I've been making a remarkable recovery," she said.

The pit bull's owner, Demetrius Miles, has been arrested and charged with reckless conduct because according to police, his pet was unattended and endangered Brianna's life.

He pleaded not guilty in Recorder's Court Saturday.

Detectives told the judge Miles' dog had gotten out several times before but never attacked anyone.

As for Brianna, her road to recovery will be a long one.

She'll need more surgeries but Watkins and her grandparents are counting their blessings.

"It's a bad situation and no child should have to go through something like this. She is very lucky to be alive," her grandfather, Marvin Warren said.

"It's like a nightmare that you never wake up from. It's bad and there's so many other children out there playing like mine. It could happen to anyone. In a million years I never thought this would happen," said her grandmother, Melba Warren.

After two months of intense pain and suffering, there's also a lesson Brianna is taking away from the incident- one she wants other kids to hear.

"Never go near stray dogs."

Bond for Demetrius Miles has been set at $10,000 on his misdemeanor charge.

A judge found probable cause in the case. It moves to state court now for trial.

As for the dog, it was taken into custody by Animal Control right after the attack and by court order, the animal remains in captivity.

©2010 WTVM. All rights reserved.