SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Three-and-a-half years before Javan Dade, Jr. was mauled to death by his father’s dog or dogs in the backyard of the dad’s home in Southwest Miami-Dade, the Department of Children and Families was warned that the dogs posed a danger to Javan and his siblings.
Javan was fatally attacked in his father’s yard last Wednesday morning. According to DCF documents obtained by CBS4’s News and our partners at The Miami Herald, the boy’s father and the father’s girlfriend woke up about 9 a.m. and the four-year-old was nowhere to be found. Police received a missing person call more than an hour later, and quickly found the child dead in the tall grass of the rented home’s sprawling back yard.
DCF documents reveal that in March, 2011, the agency received a complaint from a neighbor, when Javan was 6-month- old, living with his mother, dad and siblings at the Malibou Bay Apartments. The caller expressed concern about the “smell,” the “feces,” and the “danger” of the dogs being in the home. The DCF report discusses an incident in the prior year when both the mother and father were bitten while breaking up a fight among the dogs.
“There is concern for the safe care of the children in the home,” DCF investigator Emma Avila’s report said.”
“Two of the dogs are pit bulldogs,” the DCF report added. If the DCF investigator knew that it is illegal to keep pit bulls in Miami-Dade County, there is no mention of it, and no indication that animal services was informed of the situation.
The DCF probe concluded that Javan and his siblings were in a “moderate to high” risk environment, yet no action was taken to remove the children or the dogs. DCF investigators spoke with teachers, daycare workers and a doctor who said the children appeared healthy and well dressed.
In another of several hotline reports to DCF about Javan’s family, a caller said the boy’s father, Javan Dade, Sr., was seen “selling cocaine” out of the front door of the home. The caller said the father brandished a handgun as he argued with his alleged drug customers. DCF’s report noted the father’s extensive history of arrest, primarily for drug offenses. Javan Dade, Sr. has been charged at least a dozen times in his adult history, primarily with drug violations involving cocaine and marijuana. Among his seven convictions are also one for battery and one for resisting arrest.
The prior DCF reports quote the mother, Doreen Reyes, as denying that the dogs in the home were pit bulls, but rather just bull dogs. Despite his numerous drug arrests, Dade, Sr. denied having a drug problem.
Javan Dade, Sr. told DCF investigators the complaints being phoned into the hotline were motivated by people who “did not accept a black man…with a white woman.”
DCF workers advised the mother and father to get counseling and parenting help. They reportedly declined. The parents subsequently split up, with Javan spending most of his time with his mother and visiting his father. CBS4 News has been unsuccessful in numerous attempts to speak with the mother and father.
In one previous call to the DCF hotline, a person told the operator that there was often “yelling and screaming” at the Dade family home and the children were “outside, unattended.”
That was three-and-half-years ago.
The next time DCF learned of Javan Dade, Jr. being outside, unattended, was when police told them the boy had been slaughtered by a family dog or dogs last week.
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