Mother speaks of horror after her 4-year-old ripped from arms, mauled to death by dogs

The mother of a four-year-old boy who was pulled from her arms before being mauled to death by a pack of pit bulls has spoken of her heartbreak at the boy’s traumatizing death.

Lucillie Strickland, from Detroit, Michigan, was walking with her son, Xavier, to volunteer at a nearby school yesterday when four dogs crawled out from underneath a fence and attacked the boy.

Speaking about the moment the animals ripped Xavier from her arms, Ms Strickland said: ‘That will never leave my eyes. Never leave my mind.’

Xavier Strickland, four, who was mauled to death by pit bulls yesterday   Xavier was walking to volunteer at a school with mother Lucillie when he was dragged under a fence and killed

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Ms Strickland said she fell on her son in order to protect him and was bitten on her head, leg and back.

Despite her efforts to save Xavier, the dogs were able to pull him back under the fence. Ms Stickland added: ‘They were so strong. They just snatched him.’

Once on the other side of the fence, the dogs mauled Xavier to death as his mother watched.

When officers arrived on the scene, they were forced to shoot three of the animals in order to stop the attack, while the fourth was taken to the pound.

Speaking yesterday, Police Chief James Craig said: ‘The mother tried to fight the dogs off.

‘What’s telling in this scenario (is) the viciousness of these animals, the fact that they removed this child from the mother’s grasp.’

Ms Strickland paid tribute to her son today, saying that he was clever and liked playing with his toy trucks, but was also small for his age.

The family have also set up a GoFundMe page in order to help pay for the boy’s funeral costs.

Ms Strickland added that yesterday was not the first time that one of the pit bulls had attacked her children, after her nine-year-old daughter was also bitten a month ago.

She said that she had to take the girl to see a doctor after the attack, but that fortunately she only sustained scratches.

Ms Strickland added that she reported the incident to the police, and spokeswoman Sgt. Cassandra Lewis confirmed that a report had been made, and said officers were looking into it.

Ramone Cage, Ms Strickland’s brother-in-law told Detroit News that the owner was also told about the incident, but does not appear to have taken action.

He added: ‘[The owner] should serve jail time. We can never get my nephew back. This is a mother whose child was torn like a rag doll.’

Despite the previous incident, animal control said they have no record of a complaint about the animals or their owner.

Other neighbors said the pets would often bark when people passed the yard, and that other dog owners would often avoid the property while walking their animals.

A 41-year-old man, the owner of the pit bulls, was arrested yesterday and remains in police custody but no charges have been filed.

An autopsy carried out yesterday shows Xavier died of multiple puncture wounds to his body, with the coroner ruling out the possibility of the death being natural causes.

Source: The DailyMail

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