A man was arrested and is facing negligent homicide charges after failing to restrain his pit bull terrier, which attacked and killed a 7-year-old girl in Louisiana on Friday, authorities said.
Erick Lopez, 20, of East Baton Rouge told deputies his dog would often roam unrestrained through the neighboring property where the child was attacked, according to the arrest report obtained by CNN.
On January 6, the dog wandered into the neighbor’s property where Sadie Davila was playing in the yard, the report read.
The dog “viciously attacked” Sadie and continued to maul her despite a relative’s attempts to stop the attack by hitting the dog with a walking cane, according to the report.
Sadie, who was in the first grade, was transported to a hospital where staff said the child “sustained numerous dog bites to her face and substantial damage to her skull, ultimately resulting in her death,” the report said.
Sadie’s mother, Haley Anselmo, told CNN “nothing will be the same” after her daughter’s death.
“She was the light in all our lives,” Anselmo said. “She thought more about others needs before her own. She had a big imagination and so much spunk. She wanted everyone to be happy. She was my mini me.”
Animal control officials captured the dog, which they found with blood around its face and mouth. It is unclear what will happen to the dog.
Lopez admitted to not being present during the attack, according to the report. He was arrested and booked into the Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
“This is an awful, heartbreaking tragedy,” East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said in a statement on Facebook. “My heart goes out to this family, and they will remain in my prayers.”
CNN’s Lechelle Benken contributed to this report.