Girl, 9, dies after pit bull mauling

ELMONT, N.Y. (AP) — A 9-year-old girl visiting a home on Long Island died Sunday after being attacked by a pit bull while playing in the backyard, Nassau County police said.

A police officer responding to the home on Holland Avenue in Elmont around 10:30 a.m. shot and killed the dog after it charged in the officer's direction, police said.

The child was playing with friends in the backyard when the dog attacked, police said. The circumstances of the attack were unclear.

The girl, identified as Amiyah Dunston of Baldwin, was hospitalized in critical condition and later died.

Police said the dog's owner, 29-year-old Carlyle Arnold, of Elmont, was arrested at the scene for an unrelated charge of violation of an order of protection. It wasn't clear if he had a lawyer.

His father, Carlyle Arnold Sr., said he was sorry for what happened to the girl but told Newsday he knew nothing of the attack.

"This is crazy, I'm getting off of work and now I'm like in a horror scene," he said.

Anthony Tyron Jett, 53, lives in the house described the dog as "gentle" and was shocked when he learned of the child's death.

"He was a beast. But he was gentle," Jett told Newsday. "He was strong. He was a pit bull. Like any animal comes into the yard, a bird or squirrel or whatever, he would chase it, but he was very people friendly."