Grandfather of boy mauled to death by dog: ‘I just don’t have the words’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CHICAGO --  The grandfather of a boy who was mauled to death by a dog on the South Side overnight said he was heartbroken over the stunning loss, and now, the family is seeking justice.

The 5-year-old boy was killed at about 9:30 p.m. Monday near 89th and Carpenter in the Brainerd neighborhood, where he was visiting.

"I just don't have the words for losing my grandson," said James Nevils, grandfather of James W. Nevils III.

Witnesses at the scene said the dog grabbed Nevils III by the neck and attacked, as his mother screamed for help.

Residents say the dog was a pitbull, which belonged to the boy's adult cousin. The owner was not home when the dog went after the boy.

Neighbors attacked and killed the dog to get it to release the child. Two teenaged brothers armed themselves with a brick and metal pole.

"We got a brick from over there by the tracks and started hitting the dog with the brick," said Marquis Lewis. "Then my brother grabbed the pole and started hitting the dog with the pole and the dog died."

The brothers are saddened their efforts were not enough to save the boy.  He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Police say the incident is under investigation.  There are two investigations underway: One is on the police side to see if charges should be filed against the dog's owner. The other is with DCFS to see if there was anything neglectful that caused the horrible accident.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


    • katie

      I have a border collie who we rescued as a puppy; she has had all the top care, toys, food, etc. She was loved very much by a well off family with 2 teenage/young adults who adored the ground she walked on. However she was mean. She tried to attack other dogs, always tried to attack people that came into the house. This was not a dog who was raised to kill, who was kept chained to a tree, or beaten as a puppy. Some dogs; like humans- are just not right in the head. The only reason Pitbulls get a bad name is because of the force they carry behind them. Their skulls are three times the thickness compared to your average golden retriever. People should educate themselves before they speak; While no dog should ever kill, this has nothing to do with a specific breed, and everything to do with a horrible ending to a child’s life.

      • JS

        Dogs need to be socialized properly with outside dogs & humans or they can become territorial over their “space” & their humans. It’s not meanness, it’s anxiety. Socialization is also the responsibility of the owners.

    • Mimi

      I agree. Way too family family dogs turning. And they were NOT in Michael Vick conditions. They were in loving homes. Try breaking up a pit bull attacking another dog and have the other dogs ear nearly ripped off entirely. I dont trust the breed at all. I adore dogs but something is chemically off with them

      • Nick VanLandingham

        Where are you getting your information? Family dogs turning, and an entire breed of dog being chemically off? Those are some serious statements that I would hope you will look into. I’m just saying you should probably personally verify stuff before you throw it out there so that you don’t sound so naive.

  • Realist

    I’m sorry and boo me all you want but 1st that little one should have been in bed, second…who’s pet and why was it not chained… create your own problems.

    • Chitownlady Emj

      Maybe him being chained was the problem? When is his City gonna wake up and force owners of these dogs and breeds like to have mandatory liability insurance? Many cities and states now require it. You want to own a BULLY breed…….PAY FOR IT! Stop teaching your dog to kill things. Dogs are NOT born violent, their owners make them that way! How about banning pitbulls all together? My heart goes out to the family…..Just so so sad…….

      • Nick VanLandingham

        I am in total aggreement that it is the owners that make dogs violent. But if the owners made them that way, then banning a breed is not the answer. Throwing irresponsible dog owners in jail is the answer.

    • Dontjudgeabookbyitsciver

      You are so correct. I don’t care if it’s a holiday, the summer, no school or whatever my children still have curfews. Sad to say it but this babies death could have been prevented.

  • Marianne

    Don’t know the circumstances but if he was left alone with the dog, no matter how sweet and gentle he seemed, they are all to blame. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    • Zebra Stripes

      They have similarities in their bloodlines. Dogo Argentinos are illegal in some countries because of their behavior. From the Tribune “While we have NO way to confirm a dog breed based on physical characteristics alone, the animal has features consistent with the Dogo Argentino breed,” he said in an email.” That’s just an opinion, BTW.

  • d. degermen

    pitbulls can never be trusted under any kind of condition or trainng. never, never have a pit around children.

    • Rainey

      I could defiantly say the same thing about a Yorkie or a Chihuahua. “A Dachshund can never be trusted under any kind of condition or trainng. never, never have a Dach. around children.” See how silly that sounds even when the actual information is true. Small Breeds are found to be more aggressive then larger breeds if you do your research. The Top Three Most Aggressive Breeds are little dogs. This situation is nothing but tragic for both the family and the dog owner. I have yet* to read that the dog wasn’t* rescued from a previously bad home, or that the owner had raised the dog improperly. However i did read that it was known the dog was supposed to be locked up. As a pet owner (Yorkie and A Dogue De Bordeaux) i know i have to do things a certain way with my animals to ensure their comfort and safety. My yorkie chases cars, i don’t let her out without a leash. My Bordeaux doesn’t, and we live out in the country so he doesn’t need a leash. That and my yorkie lets him know how far off he can venture without her lol but pretty simple stuff. Some dogs just have their own personalities. Like i said my yorkie controls my bordeaux. You have to adjust to the dog not the other way around or don’t have one. So to hear that this dog was known to be kept a certain way and the owner and the parent didn’t ensure that before leaving the child alone…well i can’t help but to think that the parent is somewhat as reliable as well. However at the end of the day a little boy lost his life, and that’s heartbreaking no matter how it happened. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved. Including the boys who had to kill the dog, i can’t imagine that rest easy on one’s mind.

      • chris

        You’re right when you say the little dogs Chihuahuas can bite. I have two but one is a stinker. My point is yes he could attack someone but he would tear up a leg at best where pits kill

  • chris

    Something to ponder
    Yorkies and Chihuahuas can be just as mean as the PitBull in our eyes. The dif is a small dog would have just bit this boys leg a time or two but the pit killed him

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.