Owner of dogs who killed child to be charged with involuntary manslaughter
ATLANTA – The owner of two dogs who mauled a young boy to death and critically injured a young girl is expected to be charged with involuntary manslaughter Wednesday morning, WGCL reported.
Atlanta police said the dogs attacked the children Tuesday morning as they walked along Cerro Street, off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in southwest Atlanta, on their way to the school bus stop.
Family tells CBS46 the boy killed in the attack is 6-year-old Logan Braatz. The girl has been identified as 5-year-old Syrai Sanders.
We saw raw emotion from Logan’s mom, Angelica, as she explained exclusively to CBS46 how she’s coming to grips with the loss of her son.
“He’s got an older brother who is special needs and it’s hard for him right now to understand that his brother is gone,” she said.
She told us she heard the early morning screams of children on their way to the bus stop.
“We heard screaming from the house and everybody came running,” she said. “I saw the one child laying on the ground and then everybody still trying to find the other kids.”
She says that while helping others, she was trying to find Logan, but by the time she did, it was too late.
“Back here behind the house is where I found him,” she said. “The gentlemen here in the jeans actually carried him from back here up to where the ambulance was.”
“When I got down there, the dog at the time was mauling on my great niece and she wasn’t moving or nothing,” said Tamiko Williams, a relative of Syrai’s.
She and other adults ran to the scene to help. They had sticks and bats to try to get the animals away.
“The dogs was still chasing everybody, there was nothing we could do because they kept coming back, kept coming back,” Williams described.
The owner of the dogs was taken away by police officers in the back of a patrol car and police processed the man’s house. Cameron Tucker was in court Wednesday morning and besides the misdemeanor charges he was facing, felony involuntary manslaughter was also added to the list.
According to Atlanta Public Schools, the children attend F.L. Stanton Elementary School.
“It’s been a terrible loss,” said Logan’s grandfather, Bryant Braatz.
“Very outgoing, he was the kindest soul you’d ever meet. He’d do anything for any other little kid,” the grandfather explained.
Video from Chopper46 showed a dog sitting in a driveway while police waited by their patrol car. A dog at another home nearby, which police said was involved, sat on the porch while police waited nearby. Items littered the ground near the scene.
A CBS46 camera crew at the scene captured video of officers surrounding one of the dogs. When the dog tried to get away, an officer fired shots at the dog. The dog was hit, but ran off and was later captured, police said.
Animal control officers later took the dogs into custody. Investigators were trying to determine whether a third dog, perhaps a stray, was involved in the mauling. Animal control describes the dogs as pit bull mixes. They are being held at animal control while the investigation is underway.
Meanwhile, CBS46 talked with dog trainer Angie Woods about what makes a dog attack. She says it can be from several reasons, including excitement, fear and even dominance. Woods also says dog owners have the responsibility to keep their dogs under control.
“No dog should be running free. We’re in America, we’re not in a third world country and we know that we have laws and it’s our responsibility to control our dogs,” said Woods. “We all have a right to walk to school and take a walk with our dogs and to enjoy ourselves outside and not be accosted by somebody’s animal.”
Woods also says if a dog tried attacking you, your best escape route is to jump on top of something tall, like a vehicle.
According to the CDC, more than 4 million dog bite incidents occur each year. Of those attacks, 800,000 people will have to go to the hospital and half of those are children. According to dogsbite.org, a non-profit group that tracks dog attacks, more than 300 people were killed by dogs in the years 2005 through 2015. Pit bulls contributed to 64 percent of those deaths.