Man charged in fatal dog mauling of 4-year-old

Posted at 9:01 AM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-08 09:01:24-05

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy on Monday charged a Detroit man in connection to the fatal dog mauling of a 4-year-old boy last week.

Geneke Lyons, 41, is charged with Second Degree Murder, Manslaughter and Possessing Dangerous Animals Causing Death. He was arraigned on the charges Monday.

Police say 4-year-old Xavier Strickland was dragged away from his mother by the dogs just after 12 p.m. on Dec. 2 as they walked down Baylis St.

When police officers arrived, one fired his gun at the dogs to get them off of the boy. The boy was then seen laying on the ground with "massive wounds."

He was taken to the hospital but later pronounced dead.

Three of the dogs were killed by the police officer's shots while a fourth was quarantined and later euthanized.

Police believe Lyons owned all four dogs in the attack. They also say the dogs were dangerous animals, were known to cause problems in the neighborhood and had previously escaped the fence. Lyons is charged with allowing the dogs to attack the boy.

Prosecutors say the dogs saw Strickland as a meal.

Xavier's parents have filed two lawsuits against Lyons.

The family's attorney, Mark Bernstein of the Sam Bernstein Law Firm, says the mother was permanently injured trying to save her son's life. The family is seeking compensation for Xavier's death and the mother's injuries.

“This case should be a wake up call for our community. We get calls every day at our office about injuries caused by dogs with dangerous owners. But this affects our region more profoundly – it’s the death of a child. It’s time to address this problem in a very serious way,” said Mark Bernstein in a press release.