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Police: Dog owner charged after Central Park attack

Police: Dog owner charged after Central Park attack

A total of five pit bull/bulldog mixed breeds were seized by police
Police: Dog owner charged after Central Park attack
Photographer: Shutterstock

SCHENECTADY — The city boy attacked by three dogs in Central Park Thursday suffered numerous bite wounds, but has since been released from the hospital, his mother said Thursday.

Police on Friday formally charged the owner of the three dogs involved in the attack. She also owns two others. The owner, identified as Selena Rahm, 22, of Schenectady, faces five counts of having a dangerous dog and three counts of owning and harboring an unlicensed dog.

Rahm is to appear in court later. Police described the dogs as pit bull-bulldog mixes.

The incident happened Thursday afternoon as the 13-year-old visited the park after school with friends, according to his mother, Contessa Cooley. Her son's name is Oursavius.

Oursavius saw six dogs near the dog park and he asked if he could pet them, according to an account filed in court. The owner said he could because they were friendly. But one of the dogs went for the boy's sweater, tied around his neck, and another dog joined in. The boy ran but the dogs chased after him. He was bitten on his leg and face, according to the account. A stranger came to his aid and the owner finally got the dogs on a leash, according to the account. The owner left with the dogs without checking on the boy, the account reads.

Police seized one of the dogs at a Schenectady address. Rahm fled with the other four to Troy, where animal control officers seized them later, police said.

Cooley described her son as traumatized from the attack. He received five stitches as a result, she said. 

"He's very traumatized," Cooley said. "We also have a dog and he won't even go near it." The family's dog, she said, is also a pit bull. Despite what happened, she said she doesn't want to see anything bad happen to the dogs. The family has spoken with an attorney, she said.

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