The owners of two dogs will not face charges after their canines killed a 3-year-old boy and severely injured his mother as they played in their New Jersey back yard, according to the county prosecutor's office.
In a letter to those who contacted her office looking for charges to be filed after the death of Aziz Ahmed, Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said an investigation revealed "no intentional, knowing, or reckless criminal conduct" on the parts of the owners. She also said that there had been "no previous violent incidents" involving the neighbor's dogs, which have since been euthanized.
"In this case, based upon the information known at this time, it would appear as if no law has been violated. Thus, despite the well-intended demands for justice, no charges will presently be filed," the letter from Ciccone read. "Again, this decision is based upon the facts and evidence known to law enforcement at this time."
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Ciccone said that only once had an incident been reported of the dogs running loose, and in that instance the canines were not aggressive before being returned to the owners. The only violation Ciccone reported was that the pit bulls were not licensed, for which the owners were issued summonses.
"The death of 3-year-old Aziz Ahmed is extremely tragic and the thoughts and prayers of the law enforcement community are with his mother and father, his family and the extended community of Carteret," the letter read. "However, as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Middlesex County, the undersigned is bound by the law."
Little Aziz was playing in the yard of his new home with his mother when the neighbor's dog escaped an enclosure and attacked them both, killing the young child and leaving his mother severely injured. The boy, his mother and two brothers were in the yard the afternoon of March 16 — the first time they had been able to play back there after moving from their Brooklyn apartment in February, the source close to the family told News 4.
Between all the snow that came during the month and the cold weather that kept the snow around longer, the family hadn't been able to spend time in their yard. On top of that, the entire family also recently came down with COVID. The last day of their quarantine was Tuesday.
The source close to family tells NBC New York that with dad Tanveer at work, the mother and her sons were playing in the backyard of the Laurel Street home in Carteret when the two dogs got through the fence.
The mom was able to get the older boys to run immediately inside, but little Aziz was too young to fully grasp the situation. As the dogs ran toward the young boy, his mother threw her body on top of him as protection, the source tells News 4.
It was not enough, as the dogs bit her and her son. A neighbor said he could hear the mother's cries for help, but no one was there. Another said that the woman's 10-year-old son could only call the police, and hope they could save her.
First responders quickly arrived at the scene and airlifted the young boy and his mother to the hospital.
Aziz died at the hospital. His funeral was held Thursday and he was buried at a cemetery in Morganville, a source close to the family said, in a "tiny casket surrounded by rose petals."
The canines lived on the opposite side of the victims' backyard, and came charging through a hole in a fence before going after the boy and his mother.
Those who knew the owners said the dogs never seemed aggressive before, and didn't seem to cause too much commotion. However, one person said the mother had told the neighbors in the past that the dogs were an issue.
"As a small community, our Carteret family mourns the heart-wrenching loss of our young neighbor and we pray for this young mother and family in this time of unimaginable grief," Cartaret Mayor Daniel Reiman said in the immediate aftermath of the attack.