Lea Freeman, 4-years old, died Saturday after being attacked by a pit bull in southeast Oak Cliff.
UPDATE 07/12/22: Family members have identified the 4-year old girl who was killed by one or more pit bulls in southeast Oak Cliff. WFAA spoke to Lea Freeman's mother, Tiara Freeman. She said she left her three daughters with her friend and her dad at the home on Bluffman Drive, where all of them were living. Lea's 2-year old sibling was in the room with her sister when the pit bull attacked. "She's traumatized. She's very scared, she saw her sister be killed," Tiara said.
Family members said the mother has mental health issues. Tiffany Freeman, Lea's aunt, said they have been trying to get the children to live with their grandparents. The home on Bluffman Drive is "run down and ill-fitting for children," Tiffany said. Lea's grandparents have been calling CPS and warning them since March about the conditions the children have been living in. Neighbors said the pit bulls at the home would escape by jumping through a broken window to run at large.
NBC DFW also spoke to Tiara. She and her children had moved into the home on Bluffman Drive with a woman she knows. Prior to the attack, Tiara asked her friend to watch her children while she went to the store. When she returned, she found Lea badly injured. "I'm crying, picking up my baby and I'm getting bitten up by her dogs," Tiara said. She believes a pit bull, named "Rambo," was the attacker, "but I got a feeling Rawlow and Reina had something to do with it too."
The Dallas Morning News reports that Tiara, who is 23-years old, was trying to get her life back on track after experiencing homelessness. That is when Tiara and her three children began living at the home on Bluffman Drive. Last month, she found a job about 10 minutes away. Prior to the attack, Tiara left the home "to go buy beer," leaving both of her daughters with a woman, who also lived at the home. Her youngest daughter was staying with her father that day, Tiara explained.
Tiara identified the woman she was living with as "Simone." Tiara said she never got a call from her while she was at the store. "I don't get a call when I'm at the store, I don't get a call from her letting me know that my kid is dead," Tiara said. She picked up Lea and rushed outside. She asked Michael Pennington, who lives across the street, to call 911. "Simone" was allegedly outside when the fatal dog attack occurred and had left Tiara's two children alone with the animals.
It remains unknown how many calls Dallas Animal Services (DAS) received about the dogs at the home on Bluffman Drive. DAS declined to answer questions related to this on Monday. Tiara also expressed to the Morning News that she believes all three pit bulls in the home were involved in the attack. No arrests have been made in connection to Lea's death, police said. The medical examiner's office confirmed the child's identity, but a cause of death has not been determined.
07/11/22: Neighbor Called 911
In a heartbreaking update, we learn more about the home on Bluffman Drive in southeast Oak Cliff, where a 4-year old girl was mauled to death one or more dogs Saturday morning. Multiple media outlets interviewed a family that lives across the street. Neighbor Michael Pennington placed the 911 call. He saw the horrific injuries to the child's head. "I said that baby is dead," an emotional Pennington told the Dallas Morning News on Sunday. "I said that baby's dead, man."
Officers were dispatched to the 5600 block of Bluffman Drive just before 8:00 am Saturday about an animal attack. Police said the child suffered multiple bite injuries. Police did not release the breed of dog involved. But a review of the Dallas City Police audio dispatch files indicates the child was bitten by a black pit bull inside the home and that a gray pit bull also resided at the home. Pennington believes three dogs, all pit bulls, living the home were involved in the violent attack.
Dallas Animal Services spokeswoman Marlo Clingman confirmed Monday that three dogs were picked up by the city. Dallas police spokesman Michael Dennis also confirmed that multiple dogs were seized from the home. According to Pennington, a woman who lives at the home is the owner of the dogs. No adults were inside the home when the attack occurred, Pennington said. Dallas police and Texas Child Protective Services are investigating the child's mauling death.
In the month's leading up to the child's death, Pennington said the three dogs had escaped the home multiple times by jumping through a broken window. Pennington's sister, Lorie Pennington, said one of the dogs attacked her 15-year old niece about a month ago. The dog clamped onto her arm, but the jacket she was wearing protected her skin from the dog's teeth. Lorie broke down crying in the video, recalling, "I didn't feel right with those dogs in the house with those babies."
"If you turn around and look, every last one of those windows was busted out because of those dogs …Those dogs should not have been at that house. Many times they got called on. They should have been gone … If CPS had done what they were supposed to do it could have been avoided." - Lorie Pennington
Lorie said she called 311 multiple times to report the dogs being loose, but was told by Dallas Animal Services (DAS) they would not send an officer out because the dogs were not on her property. Lorie also said that Child Protective Services had been called to the home in the past. Tiffani Butler, a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokeswoman confirmed the family of the child had been in "involved" with CPS in the past, but did not provide any details.
NBC DFW also spoke to the Penningtons. Michael said a neighbor came out of the house holding a baby, asking him to call for an ambulance. There were at least three children in the home. The 4-year old girl and two younger children. Lorie also described the three dogs as pit bulls, as she remembered her 311 call about the dogs earlier this spring, "I told them we have some pit bulls that my neighbor has and they keep getting out and they can't keep them in," Lorie said.
Lorie echoed her concerns about the children living at the home with the dogs and that Child Protective Services should have intervened sooner. "They (CPS) should have either said ‘You have to get rid of the dogs or the kids got to go,'" Lorie said. "We tried to save those kids but we couldn't," she said. Multiple agencies, including police and DFPS, are investigating the child's death. As of Sunday, the two surviving children were in the care of separate parents.
07/10/22: Child Killed by Family Dog
Dallas, TX - A 4-year old girl is dead after being attacked by a dog Saturday morning in southeast Oak Cliff, a neighborhood in Dallas. Police and emergency responders were dispatched just before 8:00 am to a home in the 5600 block of Bluffman Drive about an animal attack. Police said the dog bit the girl multiple times, reports the Dallas Morning News. She was transported to a children's hospital, according to the audio log files of Dallas City Police on Broadcastify.com.
A review of the audio dispatch files indicates the child was bitten by a black pit bull that belonged to the 911 caller who was in the home. "The pit bull is inside the house .. [I'm guessing] at the location," states the dispatcher. When asked by the responder, "Is the dog away from the 4-year old right now?" The dispatcher replied, "The dog belongs to the caller. The dog is currently put up. It is a black pit bull. The child is bleeding. And the dog is still at the location, but he's put up."
Police did not release the breed of dog to the Morning News, or whom the dog belonged to. The dog is currently in the custody of Dallas Animal Services (DAS). No other information was made available Saturday. This is the first known fatal dog attack in Dallas since the 2016 death of Antoinette Brown. Her death caused the city to revamp DAS protocols -- police even took over the embattled agency temporarily, in order to combat the loose and stray dog problem in south Dallas.
Join Texas Dog Bite Victims' Advocacy - Join our Texas email list to stay informed
10/21/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies After Vicious Dog Mauling in Southern Dallas
04/29/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills Baby Boy in Dallas, Texas
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.
I am positively flabbergasted that something as horrific as preventable dog attacks by unnatural, man-made killing machines is continually and repeatedly tolerated. My God, you’d think the repeated destruction of children would cut thru all the insanity.
This subject almost makes me feel crazy. I can’t tell you how important your work is, Colleen, if only to validate sanity in an insane world.
I hope the screams of this poor child will haunt these pathetic excuse of parents …FOREVER!
The death of a child is always tragic. With the very organized pitbull supporting groups, many pitbull owners don’t know the risk associated with this breed. I spoke with an LPN recently who believed that pitbulls were dangerous but American bulldogs were safe. That meant to me that a lot more people need to be advised of the danger. I told the nurse to love the breed but don’t get one if you love your family.
Sheesh this is like the fourth story of a fatal pitbull attack .it horrible that an innocent little girl had to died instead of the owner. No matter how many times you tell a pitbull supporter that pitbull are dangerous and prone to attack and killed someone they’re in deep denial it like they’re in a cult.when was the last time you heard a english sheepdog killed someone.
I went on line and found all dogs are reportedly good pets if they are raised right. These well educated idiots apparently do not understand the genetics of temperament. Many breeds of dogs cannot be trained to bite. GSDs can be trained to bite but not to maul like a pitbull.
But pit bulls are nanny dogs. There will be excuses that it wasn’t trained right or it was trained to attack. That the child was alone briefly. The child was being mean to the dog, they won’t accept that it was genetics.
They just don’t care about children, all about pit bulls.
Agreed, and let cue all the cute pics of innocent babies laying atop their “nanny” dogs now. EVERY freaking time an INNOCENT VICTIM is brutally attacked by 1 of these dogs they get RE victimized. What did THEY do to “offend” the poor innocent dog? Utter infuriating STUPIDITY! I have a family member that owned a pit it ripped apart 1 of their small dogs. That pit was treated like royalty! Numerous GOOD owners HAVE been attacked by their own pits.
Why is this dog being kept alive at taxpayer expense?
I live 2 counties away from this incident and I have to say shame on kcen ch 6 NBC and shame on kwtx ch 10 CBS for not even mentioning this fatal attack. See this is a huge part of the problem media obtuseness (is that a word?) For example my parents especially my mother doesn’t realize how dangerous pit bulls are because it is hardly ever on the news and she doesn’t believe me when I tell her about the latest fatalities she just thinks I’m a dog hater and I think many many ppl think just like her. I think she and others that perceive it that way r brainwashed.
If your mother really wants to be open minded about this, she can set up Google alerts for things like “dog bite” “dog mauling” “dog attack” and she can see for herself. I imagine a person who is not used to reading these accounts would quickly be sickened by all the carnage you have to wade through, since there are so many non fatal attacks and attacks on other animals.
That’s a good idea for sure I might try to arrange for her phone to get alerts- it will be tricky though because she very difficult and paranoid of anything she perceives as my ‘agenda’
Jay, I think I remember now that your mom rolled her eyes when you were rightfully concerned about your vulnerability as you were on crutches outside a shopping center w dogs about. You may have to console yourself that a group of like-minded citizens here at Dogsbite blog understand your dilemma. BTW, I would rather be shot dead pointblank than be mauled by a pitbull.
You might want to print out for your mom the exclusive Daily Mail report on May 3, 2022 on Kyleen Waltman’s pitbull attack. Kyleen’s sister did a great service to America by graphically describing Kyleen’s injuries. Hopefully, this may awaken some pItbull advocates.
Victim’s sister interviewed: ‘When she passed out they were eating her alive. The dogs dragged her. They scalped her. Her skull was showing. They tore her left eyelid off.
‘They tore her right cheek off left a hole. They ate the skin off her inner thigh and ate the flesh off her arms and ripped them off.’
Doctors were forced to wait for a month for the infection from the deep bites to subside before they were able stitch up the gashes on her forehead and
before they were able stitch up the gashes on her forehead and scalp.
Her sister continued: ‘She said doctors had to put 109 staples in the front of her head and at least 90 staples in the back of her head.’
A trachea tube was placed in her throat because the bacteria from the dogs mouth got into her esophagus which her sister said is now permanent.
She also lost her vocal chords and now is forced to speak using a voice-generated box.”
You’re right that was me who wrote about being on crutches in a store and along came a massive pitbull leading its shidiot owner throughout the store.
I used to print out some of the incidents for her to read but she would refuse to.
She actually hasn’t been as stubborn about acknowledging facts about kyleen -that actually made the news down here and she (my mother) did find it disturbing and sad.
Oh and I most definitely choose death by bullet over being mauled and or eaten alive by a dog or dogs.
I think I’d almost rather die almost any other way than mauled by pit bull. Maybe burned alive, but it’s close.
There is no excuse for killing and maiming and destroying. I don’t care what the so-called trigger was/is.
One can be understanding of what is going on with a dog – and even love the breed or the individual dog – but real love is sometimes hard.
Sometimes real love is loving an animal, seeing the truth of what is going on, and doing the hard thing: banning the breed and letting it go extinct.
Another pit bull / child horror story. It just never stops.
I just read the update. Sickeningly sad.
When will it be understood that all the old dog rules about one-bite; is it registered and has a rabies vaccination; leash-laws …. do not apply to this very different an specific entity known as blood sport breeds served up as pets to the general populace?
If it was a DOG (not a man made killing machine) that got loose several times – but, oh, it wasn’t on YOUR property so it’s not a problem? If it was a DOG, it wouldn’t have been a serious problem warranting an anxious neighbor making repeated calls for help.
And come to think of it, what DOG does anybody know that repeatedly BUSTS THRU GLASS to get out of a house? And any BEAST doing that behavior isn’t going to land on the street with calm and good intentions.
What I can’t get over is that no one in these neighborhoods where this is happening takes matters into their own hands. I certainly would. I LOVE dogs, more than people some days, but some dogs need to be dead.
I completely agree. I love dogs more than I do most humans, but to me, pit bulls aren’t dogs.
P.S. Actually, “beast” isn’t even the word. I live surrounded by coyotes, a bobcat den with kittens immediately behind my house and a mountain lion and cub wandering through with no problems whatsoever. Wild animals are sane and natural. Pit bulls are artificial terminators.
I’ll shut up now. Thanks for letting me spout some.
Well said! “Pit bulls are artificial terminators.”
What troubles me – DAS
DAS apparently has not revamped its protocol since 2016 re loose dangerous dogs. The neighbor Penningtons reported to DAS re the pitbulls running loose. DAS claimed the dogs had to be on their property as grounds for DAS to come out. What about a “safe neighborhood” does DAS not understand? The Penningtons and other neighbors realize they cannot even make it to their car safely. When loose dogs terrorize a neighborhood, DAS has a responsibility to take investigate and resolve the situation.
To make matters worse, the pack of pitbulls lived near a park and an elementary school. Plus 2 apartment buildings, with denser population targets of the pack.
Another troubling issue – Children home alone:
No one was at home w the 3 children when the pitbulls attacked. Say what?
Then after the mauling death of the baby, the surviving children are given to separate parents. Their own parents or responsible adults stepping in as a parent type? If it is their own parents, why would CPS turn those children over to folks who have the primary responsibility for the children?
Was the woman who lived at the home away also? Why was it the vigilant Penningtons placed the 911 call if the woman who lives at the home was there?
It will be interesting to read more about these issues re this tragic death. Thank you, Colleen, for this report and checking the police audio tapes to verify the dogs’ breeds.
But-but-but they were NANNY dogs!
Whenever I hear that term, I tend to think of Nana, the lovable giant St. Bernard from “Peter Pan.”
But then I remember immediately after the other British dog. the bull terrier w the elongated head, Bullseye, who belonged to the criminal Bill Sykes in the Charles Dickens novel of 200 years ago, Oliver Twist.
Edit: “Then after the mauling death of the 4-year-old, the surviving children….”
A pit that had attacked a 15 month old left alone with 3 children under five years old and not 1 adult?! What is this insanity? This is the recipe for disaster!
What decent parent leaves three preschool age alone with three pitbulls j known to jump out windows and bite neighbors.
The pitbull owner should be charged with child neglect resulting in a child’s death.
FOURTEEN CHILDREN have been mauled to death in the U.S. in the last 18 months – National Pit Bull Victim Awareness site.
Unfathomable. Again, I am gobsmacked that the destruction of children has not yet broken through the insanity on this subject.
If only the government agencies that are supposed to protect children took their jobs as seriously as the “advocates” that defend pits that have attacked.
Yes, guilty pit bulls have a better funded and more dedicated advocates than innocent children.
As we have seen time and time again people would rather donate money to “save” an attacking pit than to donate to assist the victim of the pit.
People talk about about judging a society on how they treat their children, the elderly and animals. Our society routinely cares more for the dogs that kill children and the elderly than they care about the dead and wounded children and elderly.