‘He can be aggressive:’ Owner of dog accused of attacking 17-month-old toddler speaks

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — 17-month-old Ethan Lane Jr. is recovering after his parents say he was attacked by a chocolate lab Thursday, April 26 in Tate County, MS.

His face was bloodied and bruised.

His mother, Selena Mejia, says Ethan is undergoing plastic surgery and tear duct surgery after the attack.

"I saw the one on his temple, the one on his eye, and the one on his head. I started freaking out and crying," Mejia said. "Every time I close my eyes all I see is the blood on his face."

On Monday, the dog's owner Terry Flowers said the dog was picked up by officials Sunday night to be quarantined.

He would not interview in person but agreed to talk on the phone.

"Of course I feel bad," Flowers said. "Of course I feel bad about little Ethan."

Mejia said she was at the home visiting her grandparents when the attack happened, and Flowers lives there.

She said she left Ethan in the house for a split second to grab something from her vehicle.

She says she didn't see the 9-year-old lab, and a family member told WREG the dog is supposed to be locked in a room when Flowers is not there.

"I left the door open, so I can hear him. When I came back in the home, I heard a bang and my son crying," Mejia said.

Flowers argues the toddler shouldn't have been alone.

"He can be aggressive if you're in his domain and he doesn't know you," he said.

Ethan's parents told us the dog bit another person a day after Ethan was attacked.

A neighbor also told us she's been chased twice by the dog.

Flowers says the animals has not had a rabies shot but is current with his other shots.

As for the dog's future, "I think the dog should be returned to the owner. The dog was doing his job. He can't distinguish between a little child. He's a dog."

Ethan's family tells us they have filed a report.

We've reached out to officials with the Tate County Sheriff's Department, but someone told me everyone who can talk about the case wasn't available because it's a company holiday.