ELMHURST, Queens (WABC) --A 3-year-old girl was attacked in the face by a pit bull while outside the Queens Center Mall Friday afternoon.
It happened while little Mayerly Moreno was standing outside with her mother at around 1:30 p.m. in Elmhurst. They were waiting for a cab to go home at the time of the attack.
Police say the dog belonged to a panhandler who was outside the mall.
The dog bit the toddler several times in the face.
Little Mayerly was taken to Elmhurst Hospital and received 17 stitches.
Her cheek is covered with gauze and her father says those stitches just above her eye show just how close she came to losing her sight.
The girl was given antibiotics and a vaccination for rabies.
The man and his pit bull left the scene. So far there are no arrests.
The Moreno family says they are traumatized, but said they wanted to share their story as a warning to others in the area.
They're concerned another attack could be deadly.