A grieving father has spoken of his heartbreak after his nine-year-old daughter was mauled to death by three pit bulls as she rode her bike in an alleyway near her home.
Police in Detroit said the three dogs got free from a garden before attacking Emma Hernandez, who later died at a hospital despite the efforts of neighbours and her own father to save her.
The dogs’ owner has since been taken into custody but no charges have been filed, even though police have issued a warrant to prosecutors.
Emma’s father, Armando Hernandez, spoke of the moment he tried to resuscitate his daughter.
He told WWJ-AM: “I tried my best. I tried CPR. I tried helping her. I did everything I could in my power… she was gone when I reached her.”
One of the dogs was shot dead by a bystander while paramedics tried to save the girl at the scene. The other two animals were captured after neighbours hurled bricks at them to try and stop the attack.
Edward Cruz, who threw a brick after hearing the youngster’s screams, told The Detroit News he “had to step in” as the dogs “were not stopping”.
Emma’s father said the animals lived at a house behind his own and said he argued with his neighbour about the pets last week.
Mr Hernandez claims the dogs were not properly restrained and that his neighbour’s fence was weak.
He said: “I knew the dogs were there. I knew the neighbour… We had an argument about it just last week and he just didn’t take care of his dogs properly. He could have prevented this.”
City officials said it was likely that the remaining dogs would be put down.
Mr Hernandez said he felt “empty”.
He said: “I’m really heartbroken right now. I can’t explain it… Just, every time I close my eyes, man, I see my baby girl.”
Detroit police chief James Craig called for dog owners to be “held accountable”.
“Certainly the owner has a responsibility when they have violent animals that those animals are to be secured at all times,” he said. “If you can’t secure the animal, you shouldn’t have the animal. Period.”
The death follows another fatal mauling in December 2015 in Detroit, which saw four-year-old Xavier Strickland killed by four pit bulls. The dogs’ owner was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Source: SKY NEWS