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A 19-month-old boy was attacked by a pit bull in a parking lot in Commerce City, Colo., police said.

Investigators said the 90-pound dog was tethered to a pole when the attack happened around 7:30 p.m. Sunday. They said the boy was trying to give the dog a hug when it mauled his neck and face.

"The child went to give the dog a hug, and it latched onto his face," Commerce City police spokesman Chris Dickey told the Denver Post.

The child suffered severe facial injuries, but was expected to survive.

Police said the dog's owner is a transient who was present at the time of the attack.

Pit bulls are illegal in Commerce City. The city has a vicious-dog ordinance and charges are pending, according to police.

Officers restrained the dog using catch-poles. The dog was later transported to the Adams County Animal Shelter where it died from asphyxiation, which occurred during the restraint process.

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