The uncle of a 2-year-old boy who was killed by a group of pit bulls in San Bernardino County pleaded not guilty Wednesday to child endangerment.
The boy's grandmother, who owns the home where the attack occurred, was also arrested on suspicion of child endangerment. However, prosecutors declined to file charges against Eustulia Zamudio, 42, because of insufficient evidence, according to the San Bernardino County district attorney's office.
Samuel Zamudio's body was discovered Monday afternoon in the backyard of Eustalia Zamudio's Colton home.
Colton police said Samuel suffered extensive wounds to his upper body. He was rushed to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Samuel's uncle, 23-year-old Marco Zamudio, who tried to resuscitate the boy before paramedics arrived, entered his plea Wednesday. He and Eustulia Zamudio were arrested on suspicion of child endangerment resulting in death.
Police said Marco Zamudio was responsible for the toddler and Eustulia Zamudio owned the dogs and the property.
The five pit bull mixes involved in the attack were euthanized Tuesday, police said.
Riverside County supervisors are considering an ordinance that would require pit bulls not owned by certain groups to be sterilized in all unincorporated cities.
The ordinance — which would affect pit bulls older than 4 months if they are not owned by licensed breeders, law enforcement or people who need them for assistance — was initially approved 5 to 0 Tuesday with a second reading scheduled for next month.
Dogs in special training would also receive an exemption.
Supervisor Jeff Stone said the law was particularly relevant given recent headlines on pit bull attacks.
In August, a woman in Riverside County was hospitalized after she was attacked by two pit bulls.
In May, a pack of pit bulls killed a woman in the Antelope Valley as she was out for a walk.
“There is a small group of breeders out there that have been selectively enhancing … these dogs to kill, to maim,” Stone said. “Those are the ones I’m concerned about.”
One breeder spoke up at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting and cautioned county officials that a restrictive ordinance could force breeders underground to avoid regulations.
Supervisor John Benoit said the breed’s reputation works against it. In Riverside County, pit bulls constitute 20% of all dogs impounded and 30% of the dogs that are euthanized.
“Unfortunately, there are not enough people that walk into a facility interested in adopting a dog who want to take home a pit bull just because of the unknowns,” he said.