Four-year-old Javon Dade Jr., was mauled to death by a pack of bull terriers and a pitbull last week while his father and his girlfriend were sleeping off a night of smoking weed laced with cocaine, police said.
Javon Dade Sr. stayed up past 5 a.m. on Aug. 13, checked on his son once at 5 a.m., then went to bed without locking the sliding glass door at the rear of the home — the only barrier between the family and five terrier-boxer mixes and a pitbull that lived in the backyard.
When his girlfriend woke up at 9:20 a.m., she checked on the young boy, who was not in his bed. When she couldn’t find him, she called 911. She told police the front door was locked, the back door was not.
About an hour later, police made a gruesome discovery, investigators said. Laying still in the tall grass in the backyard of the home at 12301 SW 230th St., was Javon Dade Jr., his upper torso and head covered with bite marks.
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“The manner of death was accidental,” Miami-Dade police Detective Jessica Alvarez wrote in her report.
Thursday night, Javon Dade Sr., 30, and Alessandra Carrasco, 26, were arrested and charged with child neglect causing great bodily harm. Both were booked into Turner Guilford Knight correctional facility. Both remained in jail Friday. Dade’s bond was set at $75,000; Carrasco’s at $25,000.
The couple turned themselves in a week after Miami-Dade Animal Services fined Dade $1,040 for not properly licensing his dogs, and not having their rabies vaccines up-to-date. Thursday’s arrest of Dade was his 19th since 2000, almost all the others were for marijauna and cocaine possession.
The child had lived with his mother, Doreen Reyes, in the Palmetto Bay neighborhood, but was picked up by his father for an overnight stay at his South Miami-Dade home, the night before he died.
The Aug. 13 incident shook the South Dade neighborhood and devastated family members as they showed up at the grisly scene. Javon’s grandmother Jocelyn Dade collapsed into the arms of family members, calling Javon a “beautiful child, my Pooka.”
Animal Services workers found there were six dogs on the property, three puppies and three adults. Two of the three adults were female boxer-terriers, the adult male was a pitbull. Animal Services and police were conducting tests to determine which dogs bit Javon.
Though pitbulls have been illegal in Miami-Dade since 1989, Animal Services chose not to fine Dade Sr. for owning one, saying the damage had already been done and the dog was in custody.
Records uncovered by the Miami Herald showed the Dades were no strangers to child protection workers.
Three years before Javon’s death, in another home where the family was living, state protection workers were warned about “the smell and danger” of six “untrained dogs” living in the family’s apartment. Workers for the state’s Department of Children & Families were unaware at the time that pitbulls were illegal in Miami-Dade.
DCF records show the agency first received a call about Dade’s dogs in February 2011. Seven weeks later another call came in that said the father was selling cocaine out of the home. Yet another call in June claimed the family had cuts and bruises from the animals and that the home was “filled with dog feces.”
Both Reyes and Dade denied the allegations, saying they took good care of the kids and that they were enrolled in day care. The cases were cleared in June 2011 when an investigator couldn’t find proof of the allegations and determined that Dade Sr. appeared to be “doing well with the children.”
The arrest affidavit says police contacted DCF and received documents regarding the family and its interactions with the agency.