4-Year-Old Mauled to Death by Neighbor's Pitbulls While Playing in Grandma's Backyard in Detroit

  • Updated
 Lovell Anderson
Lovell Anderson pictured with his parents. Facebook

A 4-year-old boy playing in the backyard Wednesday afternoon was fatally mauled by one or two dogs, Detroit police said.

The attack occurred just before 3 p.m. on the city's west side, Cpl. Dan Donakowski said.

"We're not sure if it's one or two dogs, but Animal Control has two dogs in custody," Donakowski said. "It's believed that the dogs belonged to a neighbor behind where the victim lived, but as far as how it happened, we're unsure at this time." The dogs were believed to be pit bulls, police told local news outlets.

The victim was identified as Lovell Anderson. The house belonged to Anderson's grandmother who was at home with the child at the time of the attack, police said.

Anderson's aunt said the dogs broke through the fence and mauled the child. Police say the dog even dragged the child back to the other side through a gap in the fence. Neighbors a block away also heard his grandmother call for help.

Police Cmdr. Arnold Williams told reporters at the scene "we're trying to do everything that we can just to help everybody through this."

"The loss of a child who hasn't really started their life is just something huge that nobody can really even fathom," Williams said. "This reminds everybody, if you do have a dog to secure your dog to make sure your dog can't get out. That's the most important thing."

Anderson's family have now hired Fieger Law to represent them in the matter. Attorney Peter O'Toole said the family is seeking justice and closure. "The event was so horrific that people across the street could hear, and they were the ones that contacted authorities right away," said O'Toole.