Murder charge filed against Detroit dog owner in boy’s death

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Crowd remembers boy mauled by pit bulls.

Geneke Antonio Lyons, 41, owned the four dogs that attacked 4-year-old Xavier Strickland on Wednesday, dragging him away from his mother after they’d been walking down Baylis Street near the John C.

DETROIT (WXYZ) – Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy on Monday charged a Detroit man in connection to the fatal dog mauling of a 4-year-old boy last week. 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. According to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Maria Miller, Geneke Lyons, 41, is charged with Second Degree Murder, Manslaughter and Possessing Dangerous Animals Causing Death.

The family is represented by Mark Bernstein of the Sam Bernstein Law Firm, who said in a statement that Xavier’s death should force the community to consider what they believe is a “longstanding problem of Detroit property and dog owners who fail to show an acceptable level of responsibility to protect their innocent neighbors.” Lucillie Strickland was walking with Xavier at about 12:30 p.m. Lodge Service Drive and Baylis holds horrific memories for Xavier’s mother, Lucille Strickland, who frantically tried to save her son after four pit bulls viciously attacked him Wednesday as she was walking him to Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. The boy later died at a hospital; an autopsy found that he died of an accident by multiple puncture wounds, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office. 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. Clarence Strickland, father of Xavier Strickland, gets a hug during the candlelight vigil for his son, who was fatally mauled by a pack of pit bulls. (Photo: Kimberly P.

Neighbors previously told the Free Press they’d seen the dogs outside before as well. “This case should be a wake-up call for our community,” Bernstein said. “We get calls every day at our office about injuries caused by dogs with dangerous owners. 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. It’s time to address this problem in a very serious way.” Lucillie Strickland and her husband, Clarence, a railroad worker, are asking for damages and also for the court to hold the owner of the home and the dogs responsible for what happened to their son, Xavier, according a press release Monday announcing the charges.

City Council President Brenda Jones said the council would “take a fresh look into existing laws to determine what may be needed to provide a safer environment and protection from vicious animals.” “We’ve got a ton of them in Detroit, but I just don’t see the pet aspect,” he said. “The only thing we’re going to get out of this, if the prosecutor decides to follow through on manslaughter charges, is someone will wind up doing a little time. And a civil lawsuit might get the family some money.” “Unfortunately, until we get an ordinance that can stop this kind of thing, I don’t know what we can do,” Beckham said. “They are almost like lethal weapons on the loose, and we have too many incidents like this. The city’s eight-member animal control department, a fraction of the size it once was, will soon be moving from law enforcement jurisdiction to the city’s health department.

Even if the city council attempts to write an ordinance, its members will have to deal with a state legislature that thinks it should decide what’s safe on the streets of Detroit. Prohibit some dogs, regulate others, anything as long as Lansing decides what local officials should do rather than local officials deciding what’s best for their residents. But until we decide that children and families are more important than dangerous dogs, someone else is going to die — and eventually someone will sue the city.

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