An 8-year-old boy was bitten by a dog at Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett on Sunday during a Junior Lifeguard tournament there. According to lifeguards and East Hampton Town police, the dog’s owner then fled, with the animal in tow.
Chase Siska of East Hampton was playing near the lifeguard stand while his older brother was taking part in the tournament when it happened, his mother, Dr. Lara Siska, said yesterday. The boy told her he was petting a small brown curly-haired dog that was not leashed when the dog bit him on the ankle.
Capt. Chris Anderson of the town police said an incident report indicated that a man — described only as a big man with glasses — had scooped up the dog and left the beach. East Hampton Parks Department employees at the beach looked for him to no avail.
Dogs are allowed within 500feet of the lifeguard stand during the summer months before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m., and must be leashed.
Dr. Siska said the bite was not too bad, but it broke the skin, prompting a visit to Southampton Hospital’s emergency room, where Chase received a painful rabies shot to be followed over the next 14 days by a series of rabies vaccinations. While most dogs that are pets have been vaccinated for rabies, the shot was given as a precaution, since there was no information about the dog.
“I don’t think there’s been a case of rabies in Suffolk County for a long time . . . unfortunately, human rabies is fatal,” Dr. Siska said. “It was a bad decision to have to make . . . If they had just stayed so we could have gotten the information about the dog’s vaccination history, we wouldn’t have to go through all this.”
Chase Siska is a grandson of East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, Dr. Siska’s father.