Wake held for boy killed by dog in Paterson

March 5, 2014 1:46:31 PM PST
Mourners gathered Wednesday at a wake for the 13-year old boy mauled to death by a large dog in Paterson, New Jersey.

The bull mastiff named Trigger is blamed for the first death ever from an animal attack in Paterson.

"I'm sorry for the parents that lost their kid because if Trigger was in my hands, that would have never happened, he would be alive and Trigger would too," said Patricia, the dog's previous owner.

She never met Kenneth Santillan or his family, but knows a lot about the dog that viciously killed the 8th grader.

"Everybody around here knew and loved Trigger, the seniors in the building, it's like he grew up with everybody here," she said.

Patricia got Trigger when he was just 8 weeks old but when he got too big, gave him to Paul Clarke. Trigger was just one.

Friday after school Kenneth and a friend were walking home from school, when the 115 pound animal mauled Kenneth and bit his friend.

Officials had to euthanize the dog.

Trigger spent most of his time outside in this yard where Patricia says red flags are everywhere.

"The fence wasn't up to par for that type of dog, it should have been more solid, higher, because he stands at 6'1"," she said.

Something else that bothers her: She says Trigger, who was always around her grandchildren, was a playful, easy to manage pet. She believes, if she had kept him, he would have been a much different animal.

"He would actually give horseback rides to Haussain and he knew how to wlak nice and soft because he had a baby on his back, he was that soft," said Patricia.

Sources tell Eyewitness News this investigation is still very active. We have reached out to Paul Clarke, who did not have a license for this dog, but haven't heard back. He's been cited for Trigger running at large and among other things faces up to 90 days in jail.

The Passaic County Sherrif's Department says the dog has been put down by Animal Control, who will now test the dog for diseases like Rabies.

Anyone with any information on the dog attack is asked to call the Paterson Police Detective Bureau at 973-321-1120.