Toledo father sues over son gnawed by pitbull - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Toledo father sues over son gnawed by pitbull

A Toledo father is suing Lucas County's Child Protective Services (CPS) claiming it's their fault a pit bull chewed off his son's foot.

The incident happened last year, but the father just filed his claim last month.

Lisa Rantala has the story you'll see only on News 11.

The lawsuit was filed December 20. The five-year old affected now lives with his father. The incident happened in his mother's home.

The dad is asking for at least $25,000 saying he contacted CPS on suspicions of abuse only a week before this happened.

Late November, 24-year old Martina Jennings fainted in court. A Lucas County judge had just sentenced her to four years in prison after her three-month old pit bull puppy chewed off her four-year old son's foot. Larry Dilabbio, Martina Jennings' attorney, told News 11, "If this weren't an inner city black family with a pit bull, I don't think the sensationalism would be involved."

Dilabbio plans to appeal, but now the child's father blames another entity for the incident -- child protective services.

In his lawsuit, he said he called CPS nearly two weeks earlier saying his son with spina bifida was being physically abused in the home of Martina Jennings because of the presence of scrapes, wounds and bruises. The father took his son to the hospital where doctors suspected domestic violence.

They also completed a child abuse report, a physical assault body map and took photographs.

CPS removed the boy from Jennings' home, but gave him back days before the pit bull attacked.

Prosecutor Louis Kountouris told News 11, "They operated on the dog to determine what contents is in the stomach of the dog and they did find a toe." The pit bull was not caged and gnawed on the boy's foot for eight hours. Jennings said her son never woke up because he can't feel anything from the waist down.

Even during questioning, Jennings said the dog must have dragged him down for a while because she found his head at the foot of the bed.

Now that we know what happened to Jennings, it could be months before we know if a judge or jury finds child protective services also at fault.

Posted by LS

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