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14 October 2011, 06:00
A reward of up to £1,000 is now being offered as police continue to search for the owner of a Rottweiler dog which attacked a seven-year-old boy on Southend seafront.
Crimestoppers are offering the reward to anyone who may have information leading to the arrest and charge of the dog owner responsible for the incident on Friday August 5 in Southend.
The seven-year-old boy, who is from Westcliff, was paddling in the sea on Eastern Esplanade, Southend, in the area opposite the turning for Chelsea Avenue, at around 4.15pm.
A man came walking along the beach with two Rottweiler dogs, who both ran into the water where the boy was playing.
One of the dogs grabbed hold of the boy across his left shoulder and had its mouth across the boy's chest and back, encompassing his arm within its bite.
In doing so, the dog was forcing the boy under the water, which was about two feet deep.
After the grandmother successfully pulled the dog away, both dogs and their owner ran back onto the promenade, then over the road and up Chelsea Avenue towards Southchurch Park.
The dog walker is described as a black man in his 30s, about 6ft 4ins tall, slim build, with short black hair. He wore a blue top and jeans. Early enquiries suggest he lives in Southend.
The boy sustained around 20 puncture wounds to his torso and arms, including a 2 inch cut to his forearm.
He has since had two lots of surgery and he currently remains at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford receiving treatment to his wounds.
Ann Scott, Eastern Regional Manager for Crimestopper said: "This must have been a terrifying ordeal for the young boy and his grandmother. She feared that the dog was going to drown the child or continue to bite him to death. I would appeal for anyone with information about the owner of these dogs to come forward to Crimestoppers."
Only information given to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 that leads to an arrest and charge is eligible for the reward.
Information can be given online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org but information will not be eligible for a reward this way.
Essex Police have released this footage of the incident.