ESSEX, Md. (WJZ) — A Baltimore County family’s dog attacked with no warning and went straight for their toddler’s throat. It was such a brutal attack, the family was forced to kill the dog to stop it.

Christie Ileto has more.

Officers carry the family dog–a pit bull–out of an Essex home where they say it mauled and violently bit 2-year-old John August Cherny Tuesday.

Residents try to make sense of the pit bull attack that family members tell police happened suddenly.

“They were all just sitting in the living room playing and the dog just went after the 2-year-old,” said Lt. William Watts, Baltimore County Police.

Cherny was rushed to Hopkins Pediatrics. Police say the dog bit him around the face.

“The family tried to get the dog off the 2-year-old. In the process, they had to use force and the dog died,” Watts said.

Residents say the dog’s name is Midnight and the family told police the pit bull had never before acted violently.

“I seen the guy holding the little boy and then I seen blood on him and then the mom came outside and I saw her coat drenched in blood,” said neighbor Leshawna Brooks.

Residents flooded Barnacle Court, watching the horror from their front yards. Frantic family members rushed to the scene.

“We started hearing that a dog bit him in his throat,” said neighbor Thomas Gehring.

There’s no word on what sparked the incident.

Investigators say that Midnight had been with them since it was a puppy.

Police say no family members were hurt trying to wrestle the dog off the child.

Cherny is currently in fair condition.

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