Child bitten in face by pitbull treated

NASHUA – A small child was sent to the hospital after being bitten in the face by a dog during a youth football practice Monday.

Joe Laplante, athletic director of the Police Athletic League, said the boy was one of hundreds of people at Artillery Field on Monday evening for the program’s nightly football and cheerleading practices when he was bitten in the “face area.”

Police and paramedics responded and the boy was taken to an area hospital for more treatment while police took custody of the dog, he said.

Nashua police Sgt. Kerry Baxter said it was reported around 6:30 p.m. Monday that a 7-year-old boy had been bitten in the face by a pitbull. She did not know the extent of the boy’s injuries or who owns the dog.

Baxter would not release the name of the boy and said a full police report will likely be finished this week.

Laplante, a U.S. District Court judge, was not at the field at the time but has been designated to speak for the program about the incident.

He declined to identify the boy or the extent of his injuries but said he was a sibling of one of the football players and that the dog was on a leash at the time.

It’s not clear whether the child was petting the dog before the incident.

Somewhere between 100 and 200 football players and cheerleaders, along with many of their parents and other family members, were at the field at the time.

The program has five football teams and cheer squads for various age groups, all of which practice nightly during August, Laplante said.

Artillery Field, near Holman Stadium on Amherst Street, is a public park, Laplante pointed out, so other people are often there during the practices.

PAL Force, a subgroup of PAL that runs the football and cheerleading programs, has asked parents to not bring pets of any kind to practices at least for the time being, Laplante said.

“That’s a request we’ve made, but the PAL Force acknowledges that this is a public park,” he said.

Laplante declined to comment on whether the program would take any further action following the incident.

“Any time a child who participates in any PAL program is injured, the situation is evaluated,” he said.