Dogs Fatally Maul 9-year-Old Detroit Girl As She Played In Neighborhood

Emma Hernandez, 9, bled to death in an alley near her home after she was attacked by Pierre Cleveland's dogs.

Detroit, MI – A nine-year-old Detroit girl was fatally attacked by a pack of dogs while she was playing outside on Monday night and the dogs’ owner has been charged with murder.

Emma Hernandez was riding her bike in the alley near Smart Street and Central Avenue when three pit bulls escaped from a nearby yard, WDIV reported.

Two of her neighbors saw the little girl being mauled to death, and rushed in to try to save her.

“I went and grabbed a brick and threw it right at the dog,” Edward Cruz said according to WXIN. “They all ran and I stood next to the girl to make sure she was OK and I yelled out for help.”

Another neighbor shot one of the dogs.

Emma was lying on her back with gaping bite wounds to her neck when Deborah Golden and the little girl’s father, Armando Hernandez, began performing CPR, WXIN reported.

“I started CPR and I had the dad grab the neck and hold it,” Golden told the news outlet.

"I tried my best. I tried CPR, I tried helping her,” Armando told WWJ. “I couldn't do it. I tried, I did everything I could in my power to just – she was gone. She was gone when I reached her."

Emma was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead, WXIN reported.

"It's hard for me not to cry," Detroit Police Department Captain Russell Solano told WDIV. "It's tough, real tough. We're talking about a nine-year-old girl who was just out there playing, and now she's not here."

Emma’s Aunt, Claudia Stapleton, said that the family is absolutely devastated.

"This was her neighborhood. She should be able to play and do what every kid does – walk around, ride their bikes. They shouldn't be afraid to be in their own neighborhood," Stapleton said. “She was a very happy child, and she is gonna be very, very missed. It's just something that shouldn't have happened. They should have been more careful with their dogs."

A fundraising campaign established to help the family in the wake of their loss had raised more than $61,000.

“Emma dedicated her life to school work, playing and enjoying life with her family,” the page read. “Quick to get a head start on school work. She was such a smart and silly girl. Loved to be outdoors and play with her cousins. A beautiful soul inside and out.”

Police took the 33-year-old owner of the dogs into custody, WXIN reported.

“The owner of these dogs should be held accountable,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said on Tuesday, according to KTLA. “Certainly, the owner has a responsibility when they have violent animals that those animals are to be secured at all times. If you can’t secure the animal, you shouldn’t have the animal. Period.”

The three pit bulls were transported to Detroit Animal Care and Control.

"The entire team at Detroit Animal Care and Control is devastated by this tragedy and our hearts and prayers go out to the family of this child," Detroit Animal Care and Control said in a statement to the Detroit Free Press.

"All three dogs are in our possession and will be evaluated; our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of Detroit residents. Due to the severity of this case, it is very likely that the dogs will be euthanized,” the statement read.

Armando said that the dogs’ owner lives in the home behind his, and that he had recently warned the owner that the fence between their residences needed to be repaired to help restrain the animals, WWJ reported.

"I knew the dogs were there. I knew the neighbor. 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," Armando told the news outlet. "The dogs stayed there loose, wild, and the guy didn't feed them. The poor dogs, you know, I don't blame them."

Police have arrested the dogs’ owner, 33-year-old Pierre Cleveland, WDIV reported.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office charged Cleveland with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and having a dangerous animal causing death.

He was due to be arraigned on Thursday afternoon, according to WDIV.

Meanwhile, the victim’s father said he hasn’t been able to sleep since his daughter’s brutal death.

“Just, every time I close my eyes, man, I see my baby girl,” Armando told WWJ.

Comments (62)
No. 1-22
Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Dogs are deadly force, f'sure.

LEO0301
LEO0301

This was so preventable. Dogs will feed off of each others energy. I know that Pitbull lovers will find fault with what I say but they are more dangerous than most dogs, especially when there is more than one. If they aren't properly taken care of and are left outside all day long they become wild and vicious. I'm glad the owner was arrested so he can face the consequences of what happened to this poor girl.

CloserFocus
CloserFocus

POS should never see outside bars again. Mistreated dogs like they were, is what produces the rage. 3 together, makes a wild, pack mentality. What a horribly tragic scenario, all around. Prayers for comfort to her devastated family. May they somehow find it in knowing Emma is at perfect peace w/Jesus now.

Danimyl
Danimyl

Owner raised those dogs to be killers. Glad he was arrested. P.O.S

DC-TX
DC-TX

The rage this poor father must feel after confronting the guy last week about his f##king killing machines and the guy ignoring him and doing nothing. I can't imagine. That poor little girls last moments on this earth were spent in unimaginable terror. The way I see it, the owner is responsible just as if he murdered her himself. I hope he gets what he deserves.

flybynight
flybynight

I looked him up. Guess what? 🙄

5150
5150

Go figure, Pit Bulls once again. What worthless breed of dog.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

I have heard some say how great these dogs are but of all the dangerous violent dog articles I have read the articles about Pit Bulls are much more numerous of any other breed ...by far . The combination of a violent dog breed and an irresponsible neighbor is just too risky for others who are on the receiving end to have an accidental chance encounter. Not to insult any dog owner/Pit Bull owner but I don't think one can deny that these stories seem to appear on a very regular basis. Solution - Special licensing for this breed ? Documented proof of proper care / fencing/ restraint ? Not sure....but IMHO something needs to change with dog owners insisting on owning a Pit Bull. This little girl should still be alive.

BerettaAPX
BerettaAPX

Blacks ..even their dogs are violent criminals.

ScaleriBrosLawyer
ScaleriBrosLawyer

Oh look. Pitbulls again. Shocker.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

I knew it!! Fucking pit bulls!

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Pit bulls are like DUI's. How many deaths, before they are outlawed?

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

Heart goes out to the girls family. Very tragic for an innocent person to be attacked. They should throw everything they have at the dog owner.

davidebrwn
davidebrwn

"All three dogs are in our possession and will be evaluated;?????I think that evaluation was complete when they ripped out a little girls neck.

BerettaAPX
BerettaAPX

The difference between gun control and pit bull control is guns don't run off and kill things by themselves

Stanracer
Stanracer

Three pit bulls....Surprize, surprize!🤔👎

ForestRon
ForestRon

Get rid of Pit Bulls and their owners..

HB1
HB1

But pitbulls are so loving.... they need to be put down!

Cstuartsr
Cstuartsr

The owner should be charged with whatever the law will allow. This is a senseless death. People should not be allowed to own them in city unless they are confined to kennels approved by the proper authorities. Plus just like in our area the owner has to have a certain amount of liability insurance. Since these animals did this now they are not good for anything because they would do it again. I know dogs are dogs but these are natural killers and that little girl did not deserve to die a horrible death like that!!

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

Tfort said -" ....wants to bring race into every situation" --

I think its a matter of >behaviors< routinely displayed by one minority group. It has less to do with the race itself by most who see and observe. Not to say there are some who hate no matter the reason and to them it is all about skin color.....but I do not believe that the majority feel the way they do about skin color. Its also about the hypocrisy how some exhibit XYZ behaviors so often but then if Caucasians exhibit the exact same behavior it becomes a "heads will roll" reaction from politicians and other minorities. Its about the disproportionate amount of objectionable and criminal behaviors yet done so at a rate far beyond the small percentage of the US minority population. It's about the amount of time that these behaviors have continued almost unabated despite Federal and state programs, agencies, laws, etc. which have existed for decades. Finally, its about an unwillingness to take personal responsibility for actions that contribute to problems, arrest, incarceration and even death and an inability or unwillingness to have this same community even discuss what I mention above. Solution - There needs to be a change in the culture which has now accepted a 72% rate of unwed childbirth in this community. ( Up from 24% in 1965). This is the genesis of where these problems begin. Change this one aspect and it will have a synergistic effect on many other problems within this community.

Boomer1961
Boomer1961

Wow this is a very sad and needless incident. Yet I see most everyone here knee jerk reaction is to blame the dogs. Just like in shootings, they want to blame the gun! Well people read the article!! The "owner was grossly negligent, not only did NOT secure his fence like previously requested by the deceased father the week before, the dogs were malnourished and starving, of course they went after food when they saw it no matter what form it was in! If the dogs had been well fed, cared for and socialized NONE of these attacks would happen!! IT IS THE STINKIN LOUSY OWNERS FAULT!!!

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Pit bulls are outlawed in my neighborhood. They should be everywhere. I feel it's a shame that it's man's fault they are genetically engineered for lethal aggression. Their very name comes from the fact that throughout history they were bred to fight in pits. Jack London experienced the Yukon Gold Rush of the 1800s first hand and wrote about it. In his book White Fang, he describes how a pit bull takes down a wolf. I'm not sure what to do with them, besides exterminate the entire species though. Gather them up and put them on a reservation?