Dezmond Trawick, 22-years old, was killed by his brother's four pit bulls while dog sitting.
Pit Bulls Kill Man
Brooklyn Center, MN - On Thursday afternoon, a 22-year old man was killed by a pack of four pit bulls he was dog sitting, according to the Brooklyn Center Police Department. The violent attack occurred in the 5700 block of North Halifax Avenue. Upon arrival officers found the victim "had most of his clothing ripped off and had extensive bites on a majority of his body." The victim was "intubated at the scene" and transported to a local hospital. He did not survive his injuries.
Brooklyn Center Police Department - April 13, 2023
Earlier this afternoon Brooklyn Center Officers responded to a report of a dog attack in near the 5700 block of Halifax Ave N. Upon arrival officers found four (4) dogs attacking someone in a backyard, they then deployed a less lethal round, striking at least one of the dogs, which dispersed all of the dogs back into the residence. Officers were then able to secure a garage door and begin to render aid to the victim. The victim had most of his clothing ripped off and had extensive bites on a majority of his body. The victim was then intubated at the scene and transported to a local area hospital where he was immediately brought to surgery. The victim will likely be hospitalized for an extended period of time (possibly several weeks).
All of the dogs were transported to PUPS and are quarantined pending a dangerous dog evaluation process. There was a very large police presence in the area. We were assisted by Brooklyn Center Fire Department, City of Crystal Police and Community Service Officers, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and North Memorial EMS Paramedics.
This concludes the information about this case that we are able to share with the public.
Police initially believed the man would be hospitalized for several weeks, but he died at the hospital overnight. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner identified the victim as Dezmond Thomas Trawick. A police news release said, "The four dogs were of American Pit Bull Terrier dog breed," reports KARE. Investigators are in contact with the dogs' owners and say criminal charges could be filed. Police said they are unaware of any additional incidents involving the dogs.
Brooklyn Center authorities said the four pit bulls did not live at the home where the attack occurred, but were staying there for the day. The man was dog sitting the animals for a family member at the time. The victim's mother posted on her Facebook page, "I CANNOT LIVE THIS LIFE WITHOUT MY SON Dezmond Trawick." She also states the attack was unexplainable. "YES, DEZMOND LOVED THOSE DOGS AND THEY LOVED HIM... UNEXPLAINABLE," she wrote.
Police confiscated all four pit bulls, which were transported to Pets Under Police Security (PUPS) for quarantine and are "pending a dangerous dog evaluation process," according to the police news release. The KARE news video states that neighbors told them the dogs "made them feel uncomfortable." One female neighbor told KARE, "She would keep her kids in the house whenever the dogs were outside." Indicating the pit bulls had a history of being at Trawick's home.
The Star Tribune reports that Trawick died due to "complications of dog attack," barely an hour after arriving at North Memorial Hospital Health, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office. The manner of death has preliminarily been classified as an accident. Brooklyn Center Police Cmdr. Tony Gruenig said the dogs lived elsewhere with a brother of Trawick, who was caring for the dogs that day. No one else was home at the time of the attack, Gruenig said.
KSPT reports the time of the attack, 12:45 pm, and audio dispatch logs from Broadcastify. "Dogs are attacking a person he is unconscious and bleeding," dispatch states. KSPT also spoke to a neighbor who heard Trawick screaming in the backyard. "He just kept screaming, and his voice kept getting lower and lower and I’m like are you okay but he couldn’t hear me,” said Lisa Yang, who lives next door. “I’m very shocked that the dog would attack the family, I’m really sorry."
KMSP-TV also spoke to a neighbor who witnessed the attack. Jerry Nelson, Trawick's neighbor, who is wearing U.S. Postal Service uniform during the interview, said that he saw Trawick tossing a tennis ball to the four pit bulls in his backyard. As we have heard witnesses say before, at first he believed the dogs were playing, "you know, jumping on him," Nelson said. As Trawick began fighting the dogs off, things became more serious. Trawick asked him, "Can you come help me?’"
Nelson called 911 then began throwing rocks and sticks at the dogs to try to stop the dogs from attacking Trawick. Nelson described the canines as, "big, giant, dogs and I couldn't get them off of him," indicating the dogs were likely a pit bull designer breed, such as the an XL bully. Nelson said the thought of Trawick dying never crossed his mind at that moment. "I knew that he was hurt," he said. But "death wasn't even on my mind." Trawick died one hour after arriving at the hospital.
Deaths Involving 20s Age Group Rising
Over the 15-year period of 2005 to 2019, dogs killed 522 Americans. 3% (17) of these victims were in the 20-29 year old age group. Pit bulls were responsible for 15 of these deaths, 88%. The majority of these attacks also involved multiple dogs, 65% (11/17). Over the 3-year period of 2020 to 2022, (known as the "Covid Years") our nonprofit recorded 153 dog bite fatalities. 7% of those victims (11/153) were in the 20-29 year old age group, a noticeable rise from the earlier period.
The watching category, which includes dog sitting, -- dog bite fatalities involving a babysitter or relative watching a child or the dog being "watched" by a person other than its owner when the dog fatally attacked -- did not see a doubling. From 2005 to 2019, 17% (89/522) of fatalities involved this scenario. During the Covid Years, 18% (27/153) involved this scenario. However, many deaths during the Covid Years, which we are still examining, lacked information in this area.
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.