4-year-old boy dies after being mauled by pit bulls in Detroit
Witnesses say dogs dragged boy under fence
‘It just doesn’t seem real’
Another witness, Yolanda Samuels, lives about four houses north of the owner of the pit bulls.
She knows the victim’s mother, whom she said has five children. Samuels’ son and the 4-year-old victim play on the same football pee wee football team.
Several neighbors said dogs often escape the yard and terrorize children who pass on their way to Thurgood Marshall Elementary School located three blocks west of the pit bulls’ home.
Samuels, who called 911 at 12:28 p.m. according to her cell phone call log, said she and her son were headed to the school where the mother volunteers.
She doesn’t know the owner, whom she believes lives alone, but said he is reclusive, usually only outside to shovel snow or do yard work.
She didn’t believe the child’s mother was injured but said her sone appeared motionless when carried away by police.
“It just doesn’t seem real,” Samuels said.
Attack by pit bulls kills 4-year-old boy walking to school with mom
4-year-old boy dies after being mauled by pit bulls in Detroit
DETROIT (WXYZ) – A 4-year-old boy has died after being mauled by three pit bulls in Detroit on Wednesday afternoon.
We’re told the attack happened in the 15500 block of Baylis. A witness who lives in the neighborhood says Xiaver Strickland was walking with his mother when he was grabbed and pulled under the fence by the dogs.
We talked to the mother of four-year old Xiaver Strickland Wednesday night. Dolly Strickland says she was walking to nearby Thurgood Marshall Elementary School on the city’s west side to volunteer with her son.
She tells us one pitbull got loose, dragging her son behind a fence. Strickland says she tried jumping on top of her son, but could not save him.
Detroit should adopt pit bull ban it didn’t 9 years ago
Where is JoAnn Watson when we need her?
Nine years ago, Watson, then one of the Detroit City Council’s strongest children’s advocates, proposed a ban on pit bulls. The ordinance would have required owners to spay or neuter their dogs, license their dogs and obtain $100,000 worth of liability insurance for each dog. It would have required visitors to get permits for pit bulls. It would have mandated that puppies older than 8 weeks be put to death or removed from Detroit.
Oh, and it might have saved lives.
It might have saved Xavier Strickland, 4, who was mauled to death Wednesday as his mother and neighbors tried to pull four pit bulls off of him. The dogs’ owner was arrested. He should be charged with murder.
It might have saved 22-year-old Rebecca Hardy whose body, mauled and maimed, was found in the back yard of a Port Huron home Thursday. The dog’s owner had not been arrested Thursday.
Detroit is the nation’s 18th largest city, not a farm or a country town in rural Montana. So why has it been so hard to do something about roaming monsters that people complain about regularly?
Detroit leaders have talked about a pit bull ban for nearly three decades. As recently as 2006, Watson and other council members acted after a spate of deaths that included that of Cassidy Jeter, a 6-year-old Hamtramck child killed by two pit bull terriers as she walked home with her brother.
We don’t need to revisit both sides of this issue. It’s not necessary. People who fear pit bulls and abhor the danger they present point to veterinarians’ comments that the dogs are trained mostly to use their massive jaws to fight, to do damage. People who own pit bulls say that irresponsible owners, not the dogs themselves, are the problem.
Editorial: Detroit must get rid of deadly dogs
Detroit can not lay claim to being a comeback city, nor can it hope to attract large numbers of new residents to its neighborhoods, as long as children are at risk of being mauled to death by vicious dogs on its streets.
That’s what happened to Xavier Strickland last week, and it is one of the most outrageous and horrifying stories to come out of Detroit in a long time. Xavier’s death should become a rallying cry to rid the city of deadly dogs.
Xavier was snatched out of his mother’s arms and torn to pieces by three pit bulls while his mother frantically tried to protect him.
“I can’t imagine the experience of his mom — to see a perfectly healthy child mauled by dogs and be completely helpless. I just can’t imagine the horror,” said Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, executive director and health officer for the Detroit Health Department, which oversees the city’s animal control department.
Strickland’s death is an outlier, but dog attacks that don’t kill people are common. Detroit ranked 13th out of the largest 30 cities for most attacks by dogs on postal workers. Parents have frequently complained that they fear for their children’s safety as they walk to school because of the number of abandoned and unrestrained dogs.
What makes this incident more appalling is that the pit bulls that attacked Xavier previously bit his 9-year-old sister. Their mother reported the incident to police. Department spokeswoman Sgt. Cassandra Lewis said the mother didn’t offer a date or location of the attack. So there was no follow up.
Animal control recently moved to the health department after reports of abuse and other problems under the police department’s oversight, and the report of the dogs seems to have happened around the time of the transition.
The negligence in dealing with the complaint proved fatal. The mother reported vicious animals threatening her children and the city did nothing.
2015 Dog Bite Fatality: 4-Year Old Boy Savagely Killed by Four Pit Bulls in Detroit
12/22/15: Horror Surveillance Video
Today the preliminary examination began for the owner four pit bulls that disemboweled a 4-year old boy in Detroit on December 2. Geneke Antonio Lyons, 41, is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possessing dangerous animals causing death in connection to the brutal mauling death of Xavier Strickland. Today in court the judge and courtroom workers watched the surveillance video of the entire horrific attack handed over by the defendant.
Earlier prosecutors said they had evidence to show the dogs saw “child as meal.” The defendant’s own surveillance video is that evidence.
The preliminary examination will determine if there is enough evidence to try Lyons on all charges. No doubt the video dealt Lyons’ defense case a crushing, unrecoverable blow. Mark Bernstein, who is representing Xavier’s parents in a civil lawsuit, described the footage as “16 minutes of horror” and will likely be played in trial. When that happens, there will be “a sense of outrage,” he said, and hopefully mobilize the community to ensure “that this never, ever, ever happens again.”
The Detroit News adds that the video came from four cameras at Lyons’ home. Spectators and the media were not allowed to see the video, but they were able to see the expressions of those who could. The courtroom stenographer placed her hands over her mouth in horror as the pit bulls devoured the boy; the deputy had to look down to avoid parts of the graphic imagery. Bernstein added that the public will be able to view the video when it becomes evidence during the trial.
The preliminary hearing continues tomorrow. Lyons remains incarcerated on a $1 million bond.
American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier is, like all the ‘bully’ breeds, one of this group of descendants of the British ‘bull and terrier’ type fighting bulldogs. Once imported into the United States, it was bred up to be bigger again, and again used in baiting animals and in dogfighting. The American Kennel Club (founded 1884) was unwilling to register these fighting dogs, so in 1898 the United Kennel Club was founded specifically to register working pit-fighting dogs and to promote dogfighting. In order to be registered, a dog had to first win three pit fights7,8,9. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) became a ‘breed’. As dogfighting declined in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Colby (the most famous and prolific breeder of these dogs) began to search for a new market and began promoting the APBT as family pets10,11. This despite the fact that his breeding lines included child killers12.
The APBT is of medium intelligence, and it is athletic. They have plenty of energy and exuberance for life. They are affectionate companions are often referred to as a “nanny dog”, which leads many families to believe that they are suitable companions for children. Many can live happily with children and never have an issue, but there are many cases of the family pit bull suddenly attacking or killing a child in the household. The Pit Bull advocacy group BADRAP recently retracted their original “nanny dog” statements (https://www.facebook.com/BADRAP.org/posts/10151460774472399)13. In 2013 and 2014, in the United States, 27 children were killed by Pit Bulls and their mixes. Most of these children were killed by family pet pit bulls that had never been neglected or abused and had always loved the child. As with all breeds, the traits needed for their original tasks remain in the dogs – in this case, the sudden explosive aggression that was necessary to survive in the fighting pit. An APBT may never show this aggression, but if it does there will be no warning and the attack will not be easy to stop. Extreme caution should always be taken when this breed interacts with children. They are fun loving dogs that have “clownish” behaviors. Despite, their many positive qualities, this breed may not be suitable for everyone. Their high energy requires a family that can accommodate and appreciate this aspect of their personality. They usually do best with active families. Many American Pit Bull Terriers get calmer as they age and an older dog may work for a more reserved family.
2015 Dog Bite Related Fatalities in the U.S.
Updated after each fatality following fact finding research on Protect Children From Pit Bulls & Other Dangerous Dogs on Facebook
35 Dog Bite Related Fatality
27 by Pit Bull/Pit Bull Mix
2 by Rottweiler
1 by Golden/mixed breed
1 by American bulldog, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Labrador mix
By Age :
By State :
NM – 1 death
MD – 1 death
FL – 3 death
IA – 1 death
AR – 1 death
PA – 1 death
W. VA – 1 death
TX – 5 death
SD – 1 death
AR – 1 death
GA – 1 death
NV – 1 death
IL – 1 death
OK – 3 death
NC – 2 death
OH – 1 death
SC – 1 death
AL – 1 death
CA – 3 death
WV – 1 death
NY – 2 death
TN – 1 death
MI – 2 death
Names and ages of the deceased:
Unidentified Native American – about 40 y,o. – Gallup, NM – Pack of Feral Dogs [1.2.15]
Eugene W. Smith – 87- Frederick, MD – 1 Pit Bull [1.7.15]
Declin Moss – 18 months – Brooksville, FL – 2 Pit Bulls [1.19.15]
Malaki Mildward – 7yrs old – College Springs, IA – 2 Pit Bull/Bull Dog Mix [1.22.15]
Fredrick Crutchfield – 63 yrs old – Johnson county, AR – Pit Bull [ 2.4.15]
TayLynn DeVaughn – 2 yrs old – Pittsburgh, PA – Pit Bull [2.22.15]
Roy Higgenbotham – 62 yrs old – WHEELING, W.Va. – Pit Bull [3.8.15]
Betty Wood – 78 yrs old – SULPHUR SPRINGS, TX – Rottweiler [3.12.15]
Julia Charging Whirlwind – 49 yrs old – WHITE RIVER, SD – Pending [3.14.15]
Detrick Johnson – 36 yrs old – JEFFERSON COUNTY, AR – 7 Pit Bulls [3.21.15]
Neta Lee Adams – 81 yrs old – WASHINGTON, GA – Pending [3.31.15]
Kenneth Ford – 79 yrs old – NYE COUNTY, NV – Pit Bulls [4.14.15]
Brayden Wilson – 2 months old – Dallas, TX – Pit Bull [4.19.15]
Gaege Anthony Ramirez – 7 yrs old – NEW BRAUNFELS, TX – Pending [5.2.15]
James W. Nevils III – 5 yrs old – Chicago, IL – Pit Bull – [5.25.15]
Jordon Tyson Collins – 3 yrs old – Lawton, OK – Pit Bull – [6.28.15]
Norberto Legarda – 83 yrs old – Pecos, TX – Pit Bulls – [7.2.15]
Joshua Phillip Strother – 6 yrs old – Hendersonville, NC – Pit Bull – [7.7.15]
Annie L. Williams – 71 yrs old – Shaker Heights, OH – Pit Bull – [7.12.15]
Carolyn Lamp – 67 yrs old – COWETA, Ok – 3 Pit Bull/1 Rottweiler – [7.24.15]
Porsche Nicole Cartee – 25 yrs old – SPARTANBURG, SC – Pit Bull – [8.22.15]
Cathy Wheatcraft – 48 yrs old – DAVIE COUNTY, N.C. – Pit Bull – [8.24.15]
Barbara McCormick – 65 yrs old – Autauga County , AL – Golden/Mix – [8.2.15]
Emilio Rios Sr – 65 yrs old – Riverside County, CA. Pit Bulls – [8.8.15]
Carmen Reigada – 91 yrs old – Miami, FL. – American bulldog,Rhodesian Ridgeback, Labrador mix – [9.22.15]
Lamarkus Hakeem Hicks – 2 yrs old – Martinsburg, WV – Pit Bull – [9.28.15]
Edgar Brown – 60 yrs old – OKLAHOMA CITY, OK. – Pit Bulls – [10.16.15]
Tanner Smith – 5 yrs old – Vidor, TX – Pit Bulls – [10.19.15]
Amiyah Dunston – 9 yrs old – Elmont, NY – Pit Bull – [11.8.15]
Anthony Riggs – 57 yrs old – Madison County ,TN – Rottweiler – [11.12.15]
Carter Hartle – 11 months old – MARSHALL, NY – Pit Bull – [11.15.15]
Xavier Strickland – 4 yrs old – Detroit, MI – Pit Bulls – [12.2.15]
Rebecca Lillian-Kay Hardy – 22 yrs old – Port Huron, MI – Pit Bull, Husky-mix – [12.3.15]
Maria Torres – 57 yrs old – Gridley, CA – Pit Bulls – [12.16.15]
Nyjah Espinosa – 2 yrs old – Miami-Dade, Fl – Pit Bull Type (American Bulldog) – [12.20.15]
On average in 2015 someone was killed by a pit bull every 13 days. Some of these pit bull attacks were from the family dog that was well trained and had never shown signs of aggression before. The only common factor in these severe and often fatal attacks is not abuse or lack of training, it is breed. Choose the breed of dog you trust the lives of your loved ones with wisely.