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Dogs Attack Schoolchildren

December 16, 1988

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Two boys turned loose a pair of dogs on a playground full of children, who ran and screamed as the animals chased them and bit five of the youngsters, police said.

″I was playing catch at recess when I heard them yelling, ‘The dogs are coming 3/8 The dogs are coming 3/8’ I climbed up the wall and I kicked him (a dog) in the face when he started after me,″ said Edgar Oliveras, a sixth-grader.

Police searched for the boys who released the dogs Thursday during recess for about 100 children at the St. Edwards Parochial School, said Officer George Christman.

Some victims identified the dogs as pit bulls, but police and a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were unable to identify the breed.

″We weren’t doing nothing to them. All I know is that they just let go of the pit bulls,″ said Jerry Lopez, 10.

He and four others were treated at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children for wounds on their feet and legs. One of the injured, a 12-year-old who fell while running from a dog, suffered 35 bites and cuts on his legs and feet.

The attack ended when two men scared away the dogs.

Elaine Newton, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania SPCA, said several people in the neighborhood own pit bulls but that SPCA crews were unable to find the dogs involved in the attack and were unsure whether pit bulls were responsible.

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