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Dog Attacks Trick or Treater, 3

Police | Law Enforcement | Public Safety

Pinellas sheriff’s deputies said they believe the child opened the front door to the home and let the dog out.

PINELLAS COUNTY – A 3-year-old child was hospitalized Tuesday (Oct. 31) after being attacked by a dog while trick or treating, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Michael Lanfranchi, 3, was taken to All Children’s Hospital for puncture wounds to his head, neck, and face. Deputies said Michael’s injuries were non-life threatening. No one else was injured.

The attack happened about 7:42 a.m. on Shawnee Road in the unincorporated Seminole area.

Deputies said Michael was going door-to-door trick or treating with his parents and friends when he and a group of children approached the front door of a residence. The children knocked at the door but no one was home. Deputies said they believe Michael manipulated the door handle and caused the front door of the home to become unsecured.

A 40-pound, mixed-breed dog came out of the open door and attacked Michael, biting the child in the head, neck and face. Michael’s father, Joseph Lanfranchi, 34, and mother, Christine Bechtold, 39, were able to separate the dog from the child and secure the dog back inside the home.

Shortly afterward, the homeowner, Damian Romero, 34, arrived home. Romero told deputies that he left the front door to his home unlocked but secure. Romero said that his dog, Lucy, was properly licensed and up to date on her vaccinations.

Witnesses told deputies that several other groups of children visited Romero’s residence before the attack and the front door to Romero’s home remained closed.

Pinellas County Animal Services was notified of the attack and will conduct an independent investigation.

Deputies said they do not anticipate any criminal charges.

For information about the Pinellas sheriff, go to

Pinellas Sheriff | Dog Attack | Trick or Treat | Child Injured | Tampabay News

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Dog Attacks Trick or Treater, 3
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Dog Attacks Trick or Treater, 3
Pinellas sheriff's deputies said they believe the child opened the front door to the home and let the dog out.
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TB Reporter
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