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Family of 6-year-old attacked by pit bulls not bitter toward breed
CINCINNATI (Rich Jaffe) -- "Everybody did a good job. How do I know that? Cause my granddaughter's still alive and I want you to tell them that. Tell them Mr. Les says thank you."
The grandfather of a little girl mauled by a pair of pit bulls finds room in the family's sorrow for forgiveness. The little girl is still in a battle for her life at Children's Hospital Friday night.
Police have charged the mother of the man who owns the pit bulls. Volores White is charged with permitting drug abuse. She owns the house on Aquadale Lane where Zontae Irby lives. Irby is locked up on drug and gun charges but is not charged yet in connection with the attack.
Members of Zainabou Drame's family have been at Children's Hospital next to her bed around the clock. But Local 12 learned from other relatives, and you may find this hard to believe, they hold no ill will towards pit bulls in general.
Zaina, as her family calls her, lost a piece of her jaw, possibly her eye and her tongue in the attack. Yet even after all that her family is not angry or seeking vengeance, just prayers. When police rolled up after frantic 911 calls their dash mounted camera caught part of the assault. Friday Local 12 showed that video to Zaina's grandfather, Les Mcelrath. Instead of getting overly upset or angry, this very christian gentleman turned the other cheek.
He told Local 12, "My daughter, she went to war with the dog and the dog got killed. And my baby's in the hospital right now and I want people to pray that she's gonna be OK."
Moments later, "Mr. Les" as he's known, turned that cheek to a pit bull named Cupcake that showed up in the back of a neighbors car. He let her lick his cheek before the owner of the dog drove off.
Just before Zaina was attacked, she had been playing with her 9-year-old brother, Moustapha.
One dog began pulling on Zaina's pants and then Moustapha said, "One of them was chewing on her and one of them was looking out, that was gonna try and get her. So I tried to get her and the dog started growling at me."
Moustapha ran home and told his mom what was happening, she grabbed a bat and went after the dogs. Moustapha brought some additional help too, their tiny dog, Cappy.
"I told my dog to come out and my dog started chewing on the dog attacking Zaina and then my friend's dogs and some other dogs came out and started chewing on the dog that was attacking Zaina," Moustapha said.
Holding the little fuzzy hero, Les told Local 12, "When my daughter ran up the street he beat her to that pit bull and got busy."
Seeing the attack on video brings nothing but gratitude from this grandfather, "I thank the police officers. All of them who came, all of them did what they did, bless them and their families. I know it's a shock to them, they saw it, they human, they couldn't believe it neither."
Those officers are still off on leave after this very traumatic situation. Zaina's family says the road to recovery is going to be a long one.
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