BATON ROUGE, LA. (AP) — A Louisiana man whose pit bull attacked and killed a 7-year-old girl has been charged with negligent homicide.
In a statement, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office said Erick Lopez, 20, allowed the dog to roam free in a Baton Rouge neighborhood before it attacked Sadie Davila, who was playing outside of her relative’s home Friday evening.
Davila’s relative tried unsuccessfully to stop the attack by hitting the dog with a walking cane. She was later transported to a hospital but died hours later. Medical staff told police the child suffered “numerous dog bites to her face and substantial damage to her skull.”
After the incident, deputies and East Baton Rouge Animal Control officers found and captured the dog, The Advocate reported.
Lopez, whose property is located roughly 150 yards from where Davila was attacked, told investigators he wasn’t home during the incident and that he regularly left the dog outside unrestrained, according to police records.
Lopez was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Saturday.
In an email to local families, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Superintendent Sito Narcisse wrote that Davila “was blossoming in the dawn of her life and education with so much promise awaiting her.”
“It is difficult to comprehend the enormous pain and remorse her family and friends are experiencing in the wake of this tragedy,” the email reads.