A Michigan man is facing a murder charge after police say his pitbulls snatched a 4-year-old boy away from his mother and mauled him to death.
The vicious attack occurred last week when the boy and his mother were walking through a Detroit neighborhood.
The mother noticed two of the pitbulls beginning to approach them and tried to protect her son. That’s when police said one of the dogs bit the woman and the other began to attack the child. The two other dogs quickly joined the attack.
The boy was then dragged by the dogs under a fence and into a backyard, where he was found lying on his back with “massive wounds,” prosecutors said.
The boy succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital.
Three of the dogs involved were shot by police at the scene. The fourth was taken into police custody and later euthanized, authorities said.
The dogs had been a known problem in the neighborhood and had escaped their fenced area in the past, prosecutors said.
“It is a gross understatement to say that this case is harrowing example of irresponsible pet ownership,” prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.
The owner of the pitbulls, Geneke Lyons, 41, was arrested on charges of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and possessing dangerous animals causing death. He pleaded not guilty in court on Monday and was remanded to jail.
An attorney has not yet been listed to represent Lyons, according to court officials.