Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
Pinellas County Animal Services
Michael Lanfranchi (Child- Injured)
Joe Lanfranchi (Father- Uninjured)
Christine Bechtold (Mother- Uninjured)
Damian Romero (Dog Owner)
10858 Shawnee Road, unincorporated St. Petersburg
Pinellas deputies are investigating a dog attack that hospitalized a 3-year-old child with non-life threatening injuries in unincorporated St. Petersburg.
The incident occurred at about 7:42 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.
The incident occurred at a residence located at 10858 Shawnee Road in unincorporated St. Petersburg
At about 7:42 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, deputies responded to a residence located at 10858 Shawnee Road in unincorporated St. Petersburg, for a report of a dog attack.
According to deputies, 3-year-old Michael Lanfranchi was going door-to-door trick or treating with his parents and friends when he and a group of children approached the front door of the residence.
Deputies say the children knocked at the door but no one was home. Deputies believe Michael manipulated the door handle and caused the front door of the home to become unsecured.
A 40 lbs. mix breed dog exited the unsecured front door and attacked Michael biting the child in the head, neck and face. Michael’s father 34-year-old Joseph Lanfranchi and mother 39-year-old Christine Bechtold, were able to separate the dog from the child and secure the dog back inside the home.
Paramedics responded and transported Michael to All Children’s Hospital for puncture wounds to his head, neck, and face. Deputies say Michael’s injuries were non-life threatening. No one else was injured.
Shortly afterward, the homeowner 34-year-old Damian Romero arrived home. Romero informed deputies that he left the front door to his residence unlocked but secure. Romero said that his dog “Lucy” was properly licensed and up to date on her vaccinations.
Witnesses told deputies that several other groups of children visited Romero’s residence before the attack and the front door to Romero’s home remained secure.
Pinellas County Animal Services was notified of the attack and they will conduct an independent investigation.
Deputies do not anticipate any criminal charges in this case.
The investigation continues.
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