Residents who live near the house where a 6-year-old boy was fatally mauled by his relatives’ pit bull Monday reacted to the horrific accident this afternoon.

The boy, identified as Nephi Selu, had been playing with the dog in the backyard of a home on Elizabeth Way around 11:30 a.m. when the dog attacked him, biting him on the top of his head, police said.

Nephi was taken to Stanford Hospital and was pronounced dead around 4 p.m., police said.

The dog was taken to the Tri-City Animal Shelter in Fremont and will be held for a 10-day quarantine, police said.

Police said the boy was playing with the dog and may have tried to climb onto the animal’s back.

A neighbor who declined to give her name said her 5-year-old cousin had been in a kindergarten graduation ceremony at a Union City school with Nephi last week.

She said she saw him at the ceremony and that he was a “sweet little kid” who “was always smiling and happy.”

The woman, who lives two houses away, said she had seen the family’s two pit bulls often but had never heard about any issues with the pets.

Another woman who said she’s lived on the block for 40 years said the family “seemed lovely” and always had grandchildren playing in the backyard. She said she often saw family members with the two dogs.

Another resident who has lived on Elizabeth Way for 26 years said there were many grandchildren that lived at the home and that the family “were nice people.”

She said it was “just devastating that this happened” and she called it a “freak accident.”

According to police, the dog owner was distraught over the incident but is cooperating with the investigation.

The owner told police that the dog has never bitten anyone before.

The dog had been given anti-rabies shots and was properly licensed, according to police.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Union City police at (510) 471-1365.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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  • Robert Gregory

    where is the paragraph that explains how these “nice people” are too incredibly selfish and/or oblivious to realize the inherent danger of the pit bull breed. Where is the involuntary manslaughter charge against factually irresponsible parents? Who speaks up for the defenseless little child who NOBODY protected from the KNOWN DANGER of the pit bull breed?

    Really sad example of natural selection at work – with what is arguably an element of criminal negligence.

  • Robert Gregory

    where is the paragraph that explains how these “nice people” are too incredibly selfish and/or oblivious to realize the inherent danger of the pit bull breed. Where is the involuntary manslaughter charge against factually irresponsible parents? Who speaks up for the defenseless little child who NOBODY protected from the KNOWN DANGER of the pit bull breed?

    Really sad example of natural selection at work – with what is arguably an element of criminal negligence.