Man accused of killing his dog after it attacked his daughter: "He went from happy bear to raging beast"

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix man is facing several charges -- accused of shooting and killing his dog after it attacked his four-year-old daughter Saturday afternoon, June 13th.

According to court paperwork, 32-year-old Nevaldo "Chris" Alexander Ford told police that his pet pit bull, Toven, was playing outside and his daughter was swimming at their home when he heard screaming.

He said he went outside and saw the dog biting his daughter, so he kicked the dog and slammed him into the ground.

"I had to lift him up over my head, and then I had the strength to slam him down," Ford told KPHO. "Turned around and grabbed my kid before he could recover."

Ford then retrieved a 7.62mm bolt-action rifle from inside the house.

"When I looked out, he had that hunched back look like, 'Come out here.' I am coming out here, alright," Ford said.

Toven ran into his kennel, and Ford allegedly shot and killed him. Police said they found four bullet holes in the kennel, which was about 8 to 10 feet from a neighboring home.

The dog was shot at least twice, police said.

"He went from a happy bear to a raging beast, and it was no way of knowing when it would switch," Ford said.

According to court documents, Ford is not allowed to own a firearm because he is a convicted felon.

The child was transported to Phoenix Children's Hospital with injuries to her head and face, including a puncture to her skull. According to court documents, the injuries required several stitches and will cause permanent disfigurement.

A family member told police that she had encouraged Ford to get rid of Toven because the dog had been aggressive toward kids and had already attacked several other times. She said the dog had killed other dogs.

"Another dog attacked him and he lashed out," Ford explained.

Ford's next door neighbor, Sabino Coronado, said he never observed Toven being aggressive.

"Not aggressive at all," Coronado said. "He came up to us, sniffed us, and then (Ford) called him and went and put him in the kennel."

Ford told police he usually kept Toven in the kennel while kids were playing outside but that the dog may have somehow gotten out that day.

"I don't know if I'm still giving him excuses, but he deserved it," Ford said. "I mean, you attach to my face and I'm probably going to something to do something to you pretty nasty, too."

He was arrested on one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty and one felony count each of endangerment, possession of a weapon by a prohibited person, assault by a vicious animal at large, and discharging a firearm within city limits.