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No charges are likely in mauling of infant

Authorities are not expected to file charges against the parents of a 2-week-old infant who was killed by the family's pit bull Friday afternoon, according to Baltimore police officials, who said the death appears to be an accident.

Terry Allen Jr. was bitten to death by his parents' pit bull, "Jigga," about 3:15 p.m. Friday in the 4200 block of Audrey Ave. in Brooklyn, police said. Terry suffered dozens of bite wounds, though not all punctured the skin, police said.

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The boy's parents -- Terry Allen, 29, and Stacie Morgridge, 24 -- had left the baby alone with the dog in their rowhouse when they went to smoke cigarettes.

Terry was lying in a swing on the second floor of the rowhouse when he was killed, police said. Officers fatally shot the dog when they arrived on the scene.

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The parents were struggling to cope with the death of their child, relatives and friends said yesterday. They said Morgridge and Allen doted on their son, who was born July 21 at Harbor Hospital.

"They are good parents, as good as they can be," said Tammy Everhart, 25, a family friend.

Friends and relatives said that the parents didn't want to smoke around the child, so they went outside on Friday afternoon, never thinking their dog would attack Terry.

Everhart and Dominique Allen, the boy's uncle, said Jigga had never been vicious and was a gentle 3-year-old dog.

"He was always very good with the baby," Everhart said. "He would sniff it to just make sure he was all right. He was so protective."

The boy's mother, who owns the dog, works as a manager at a local convenience store. The infant's father can not work because he has a damaged hip, friends said.

Funeral arrangements had not been completed yesterday evening.

The child's death occurred about two years after the City Council narrowly defeated a bill to ban the city's estimated 6,000 pit bulls, a proposal prompted by a string of nonfatal dog attacks on children. At the time, city health officials said the Bureau of Animal Control lacked the resources to enforce a ban.

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Last year, the council passed a less stringent law to rein in violent dogs.

About 1,000 dog bites are reported to the city Health Department each year, about 30 percent of them by pit bulls. But they are rarely fatal.

In 1994, a baby was mauled to death in an East Baltimore apartment when its mother visited a friend who was keeping her incarcerated boyfriend's pit bull.

In 1985, a 57-year-old Edgemere woman was killed by her pit bull terriers.


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