- Aziz Ahmed, 3, succumbed to his injuries in hospital; his mother, who tried to save him, is in critical condition.
Three-year-old Aziz Ahmed was playing in the backyard of his home in Carteret, New Jersey, on March 16, when he was mauled to death by his neighbor’s two pit bulls. Aziz’s mother, identified as Shabana Mohammad in a change.org petition, tried to save him and was badly injured, and is reportedly in critical condition in the hospital.
News reports say Aziz was airlifted to the hospital, while his mother was transported by ambulance to receive emergency medical care. Aziz succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
The family, originally from Pakistan, had moved from Brooklyn to Carteret, three months ago. Photos taken by news outlets showed Aziz’s father, identified as Tanveer Ahmed, bursting into tears upon entering his home on March 17, a day after the attack. Ahmed works in management at Coney Island Auto Parts’s offices in Carteret.
Prayer services were held for Aziz at the Mosque Al Wali in Edison, on March 18. Photos show a grieving Ahmed, following Aziz’s small, wooden coffin, as it was carried out of the mosque. Relatives told the media that Aziz’s mother had complained about the dogs on two separate occasions, but the owner laughed off her concerns.
Neighbors told ABC 7 that the pit bulls were known as a menace in the area. “’Those pit bulls [have] bit people all in this area,” a neighbor said. ‘I’m aware of certain houses, so I try to walk a different path when I know that they’re on that block..” Another neighbor said she called the police about the dogs several times.
Neighbor Jeet Devinder told ABC 7 NY he could hear the mother’s desperate cries, but on one came to ward off the dog.
On social media, the pit bulls have been identified as Logan and Rocky. Both dogs were reportedly shot by police officers at the scene of the attack. It is unclear whether their owner would face any criminal charges.
Ahmed’s longtime co-worker, Jack Beyda, told the Woodbridge Patch that he has known Ahmed for the past 12 years. “They are from Pakistan originally and he’s a great family guy,” Beyda said, adding that Ahmed has three little boys. “He’s very, very hardworking. He works very hard to provide for his family and he saved up enough money to move out here from Brooklyn; he saved up enough to buy this little house.”
Carteret Mayor Dan Reiman released a statement on March 16 after the attack. “Our prayers are with the family affected by a dog attack at a private residence on Laurel Street,” the statement read. “Thank you to the first responders who rushed in to attend to the victims, who are being transported by helicopter for emergency medical care. That’s all the information we have at this time.” Reiman said that according to municipal records from the Carteret Board of Health, the dogs were not registered with the town, as is required by law.
Barry, a Coney Island Auto Parts manager, who did not give his last name, told mycentraljersey.com that Ahmed has been with the company for about 15 years, since before he was married and had children. “He’s one of the hardest workers we have,” he said. “Once we opened up our Jersey facility we promoted him to run that entire facility. He’s just an all around good, kind natured, very gentle souled individual.”
The Carteret community and friends and family have come together to raise funds for the family. The town has started the Carteret Charity Trust Fund to raise funds as well.
In a Facebook post on March 18, Mayor Reiman said that so far they have collected over $20,000. “Those wishing to donate may do so through the Carteret Charity Trust Fund at the link below or you may drop off your donation (checks only) to the dropbox in front of Borough Hall at 61 Cooke Ave.,” he wrote. “100% of money donated will go directly to the affected Carteret family.”
A GoFundMe page, set up by one of Ahmed’s co-worker has collected $124,956, of the $250,000 goal, as of March 19 afternoon. “I never had the honor of meeting little Aziz but I do know his father Tanveer who is a hardworking man and just recently moved his family from Brooklyn N.Y. to New Jersey for a better life. Tanveer is loved by his co-workers and truly an asset to the company,” the GoFundMe.com post states. “We’re calling upon the kindness of family, friends and strangers to help the Ahmed family in this difficult time.”
The change.org petition, titled “Justice for Aziz,” urges Gov. Phil Murphy to “to prosecute the dog owners for taking our innocent Aziz away. We want justice for Aziz and will not rest until it’s served.” The petition continues: “Aziz Ahmed age 3 was viciously attacked and murdered by 2 illegally owned pitbulls. His mother Shabana Mohammad is in critical condition fighting for her life. Her 10 and 4 year old son watched in horror as their mother and brother were ripped to shreds.”