Dog attacks 3-year-old boy trick-or-treating in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Pinellas County deputies are investigating a dog attack that left a 3-year-old boy with multiple puncture wounds.

The Sheriff's Office reports Michael Lanfranchi was going door-to-door trick-or-treating with his parents and friends.

Around 7:42 p.m., the toddler and some other children approached the front door of a home on Shawnee Road in unincorporated St. Petersburg.

Deputies say the kids knocked at the door but no one was home.

Detectives believe Michael manipulated the door handle and causing the front door to become unsecured and open.

A 40-pound mix breed dog immediately exited the door and attacked the 3-year-old, biting him on the head, neck and face.

The boy's parents, 34-year-old Joseph Lanfranchi and 39-year-old Christine Bechtold, separated the dog from their son and secured the dog back inside the home.

Paramedics responded and transported Michael to All Children's Hospital. His wounds are not life threatening. No one else was injured.

The Sheriff's Office reports the homeowner, 34-year-old Damian Romero, arrived home shortly after his dog attacked the boy.

Romero told deputies he left his front door unlocked but secure. He said that his dog Lucy was properly licensed and up to date on her vaccinations.

Deputies say witnesses told them several groups of kids visited Romero's home before the dog attack and the front door remained secure.

Pinellas County Animal Services is aware of the dog attack. The agency plans to conduct their own independent investigation.

The Sheriff's Office reports it is unlikely Romero will be charged criminally.

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