FORT WORTH, Texas — Authorities on Thursday arrested the parents of an 18-month-old North Texas toddler who was attacked by the family's dogs after crawling through a doggie door into the backyard, a sheriff's department spokesman said.
Chance Walker Sr., 26, and Patricia Walker, 23, were being held in the Tarrant County Jail on injury to a child charges. Their bond was set at $100,000 each. Online court records do not show that they have an attorney.
The Walkers were taken into custody Thursday at a house in White Settlement, Tarrant County Sheriff's spokesman Terry Grisham said.
The attack occurred on Jan. 30th at the child's grandparents' home in northwest Tarrant County, near Lake Worth.
The boy, whose face and body were seriously injured by the family's large dogs, received about 400 stitches and underwent surgery to have his right ear reattached.
Child Protective Services took custody of him while he was still in the hospital, after his mother tested positive for methamphetamines, according to an arrest affidavit. His father declined to take the drug test.
The parents were cited for "recklessly disregarding hazardous conditions" to the child's safety and failing to provide adequate supervision.
According to the affidavit, the Walkers had put the child down for a nap in the play pen and were sleeping when the boy climbed out of the pen and crawled through the doggie door.
Patricia Walker said she awoke to the sound of barking, discovered her son missing and found him in the backyard beneath the pack of dogs.
While her husband called 911, she ran to the child. The boy's grandfather told authorities he was returning home and just getting out of his truck when he heard her screaming, "Get them off!"
The Walkers told investigators they knew the child was able to climb out of his play pen and through the doggie door to go outside because he had done so several times.
Patricia Walker said the dogs had scratched the boy the week before, and she had to give him pain medicine.
She also told authorities the same dogs had bitten a neighbor's daughter in the face and were known to escape from their backyard fence and cause problems.
Several neighbors have expressed anger about the dogs, and the sheriff's office had been called to the residence six other times regarding the dogs, Grisham said.
The four dogs involved in the attack have since been euthanized.