A Rottweiler ripped a 16-month-old girl out of her mother's arms, dragged her for several feet and mauled her to death in an apparent unprovoked attack, police said.

Cassandra Garcia died at a hospital Tuesday evening following the attack by her grandparents' 150-pound male dog, named Enano, police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

The toddler was being held as her mother, Blanca Garcia, bent down and gave the dog a bowl of water. The dog attacked the girl, snatched her and dragged her several feet down a driveway.

"It was extremely severe," Lorenz said.

Garcia's mother was able to grab her child back and sought refuge in a vehicle where she made a "hysterical 911 call," Lorenz said. The 28-year-old mother had bites to her arm and upper body but "suffered no major injuries," he added.

When officers arrived, they were able to seize the dog and take it to an animal shelter.

"At this time, as we understand, it was an unprovoked attack," Lorenz said.

However, a resident who owned a small Maltese dog said that in April 2004 two Rottweilers one of whom was Enano_ attacked the pet, said Ricky Whitman, vice president of community resources for the Pasadena Humane Society. The Maltese died from its injuries, but the owner did not want the incident documented.

Other residents said Enano was a friendly dog and wasn't a threat to children.

"He was a goofy, gentle giant," said Dorothy War, whose 12-year-old son played with the dog. "We could not find anything to detect he was violent."

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