CONROE, Texas - Along a country road in Montgomery County just west of Conroe lived a little boy named Christian.
“He was a sweet little boy who liked to dress up as Spiderman,” said Debra Dreyer, a family friend whose grandson played at Christian’s house.
Photographs show a child wearing a superhero costume for Halloween.
“He was a happy, very happy, very loved, sweet, little boy,” Dreyer said.
On Saturday afternoon, Christian Gormanous’ mother Janell — who’s been caring for a newborn baby — left her four-year-old son in their backyard with his nine-year-old sister. The boy did what boys often do: He climbed the fence and walked into a neighbor’s yard.
Waiting in the neighbor’s backyard was a dangerous dog, a chained pit bull.
The dog attacked the boy who had wandered into the yard, savagely biting him until his sister Trinity came to his rescue.
“Trinity was able to get the dog off of him, brought her little brother back over the fence and went in and got her mother and told her the dog had attacked Christian,” Dreyer said.
Christian’s injuries were so severe a helicopter carried him to a Houston hospital where he died Saturday evening.
Now his family is in mourning.
“They’re holding up as best as possible,” said Misty Price, one of many family friends who gathered at the home Sunday. “The mother, of course, and father are very distraught. But we’re holding on. We trust in the Lord and we will see it through.”
No one answered the door at the dog owner’s home. On the door hung a notice from a county animal control officer, but law enforcement authorities said they did not expect any criminal charges.
The dog involved in this attack was chained in its yard, authorities say. But neighbors complain that pit bulls sometimes run free in the area.
“I think the ordinances need to be changed to start addressing these more aggressive dogs,” said Karen Loube, the president of the area’s property owners association. “I think the county needs to step up and start helping.”
But the family’s friends focused not on the dog, but the child who had died and the family that loved him.
The attack was “just something tragic that happened,” Dreyer said.
“Anytime you saw him he was laughing and playing,” Price said. “And he was a sweet, sweet little boy.”