Detroit Man Charged in Fatal Dog Mauling
of Nine-Year-Old Emma Hernandez
Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Pierre Cleveland, 33 (DOB: 12/22/1985), in connection with the death of nine-year-old Emma Hernandez, both of Detroit. On August 19, 2019 at 4:03 p.m. in the alley of a location in the 6030 block of Central Avenue, the victim was riding her bicycle with her 13-year-old brother when she was fatally attacked by three pit bulls. A male neighbor threw bricks at the dogs in an attempt to stop them from attacking the child. The child was observed with multiple bite wounds on her body. Medics were called to the scene, rendered medical assistance, and transported the victim to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased.
Defendant Cleveland was the next door neighbor and owner of the three pit bulls that attacked the victim. On August 19, 2019, before the fatal attack, it is alleged that the defendant left the dogs that he knew were dangerous, loose and unsecured in the backyard of his home while he went to a nearby store. Investigation of the location revealed that the fence that lined the yard was damaged and not secure. There was also a garage side door that was open and led to the alley where the victim was attacked. Further facts and evidence in the case will be presented in court at the preliminary examination.
Prosecutor Worthy said, "It is horrible to imagine what Emma went through as she was being mauled to death by vicious dogs allegedly owned by the defendant.
"It is high time that the City of Detroit shines a light on the owners of these dangerous animals that sometimes roam and wreak serious havoc - none worse than what happened here."
The defendant has been charged with: Second Degree Murder, Dangerous Animal Causing Death and Involuntary Manslaughter.* Cleveland was arraigned in 36th District Court at 2:00 p.m. today before Magistrate Millicent Sherman. The Probable Cause Conference is scheduled for August 30, 2019 at 8:30 a.m.; the Preliminary Examination is scheduled for September 6, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. Both hearings are before Judge Michael Wagner in 36th District Court. The defendant received a $2 million cash/surety bond.
*The charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.