Authorities investigate dog wearing service vest that bit toddler at restaurant

Mycah Hatfield Image
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Toddler suffers face stitches after dog bites her in restaurant
The girl's family members want the dog's owner to take responsibility for what happened. ABC13's Mycah Hatfield shares their story in the video above. WARNING: Some of the images may be graphic.

A 3-year-old is recovering after being bitten by a dog wearing a service vest inside of an Old Town Spring restaurant on Saturday.

Cleveratta Gordon-Waldroup, Ronin's mother, said the family had just arrived to the Loose Caboose with a close family friend. Ronin was leading the group to the line to order when she came face-to-face with a dog.

The toddler's mother and her father, James Waldroup, were folding up the stroller at the door, but their friend Kimberly Parker was right behind the child when she encountered the dog.

"It had a hold of her face and shook her," Parker said. "The lady pulled on the leash, the dog released her and she just dropped like a rag doll."

Parker handed Ronin to her mother who took her to the bathroom to assess her injuries.

"In my mind as she's screaming, 'I just needed to stop the bleeding. I just needed to stop the bleeding,'" Gordon-Waldroup said.

Ronin's father found them in the bathroom and asked what happened.

"Her best friend Kim says, 'She was bitten by a dog,'" Waldroup recalled. "I said, 'What dog?' And two people at the door said, 'She's running that way.' I broke and ran."

Waldroup chased the woman and the dog down the street to her car. He said he told the woman she needed to stay because there was an accident.

"She yells at me, 'It's your daughter's fault,'" the father said.

People all around were recording their interaction. The dog owner can be seen being driven away by a man. Waldroup was able to get a photo of the woman and her license plate.

Ronin was taken to the hospital, where she received stitches.

Her mother said the doctors did not believe she would have bad scarring but did suggest she follow up with a plastic surgeon.

"It's enough that she's going to have the mental trauma," her mother said. "I don't want her to look in the mirror and have that be a constant reminder of what happened."

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said they do know who owns the dog and have a meeting scheduled with her. Information will be passed on to the District Attorney's Office to determine if charges are warranted.

The Waldroup family does want the owner to be held accountable.

"For them to not show any compassion or any remorse to even stop and ask if my baby was OK, it goes beyond words," Gordon-Waldroup said.

"She cares more about this dog," Waldroup said. "This dog now has to be checked out and everything, because my child runs the chance of getting rabies so that is still on the table until we get confirmation of its medical history."

The family has set up a GoFundMe to cover Ronin's future medical expenses. A dermatologist has reached out to offer treatment for Ronin.

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