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Father Charged After 19-Month-Old Ryan Foster Mauled To Death By Family Dog

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police said a toddler was killed by a family dog in Flatbush, Brooklyn on Tuesday night after he was left unattended at home with his siblings.

Residents in the area were left devastated and worried about the emotional state of the older siblings who witnessed the attack.

The NYPD's commanding officer told CBS2's Natalie Duddridge it was traumatizing for the police who responded to scene.

Neighbors said they are still in shock after they heard children's cries for help late Tuesday night from their apartment in the 300 block of East 17th Street.

"Two other siblings are screaming for help, like, 'Help me! Help me! My brother is dying!" one person said.

Video shows the kids who police say are 9 and 11 run outside looking for help after their 19-month-old baby brother, identified as Ryan Francis Foster, was mauled by the family dog -- a Rottweiler -- at 10:40 p.m.

The footage shows a group of adults come to their aid. Police then show up and run inside. They carry the baby out to a waiting ambulance.

"When the officers arrived here, they went to an apartment on the first floor. They encountered a child with multiple wounds to his body, bleeding heavily," Commanding Officer Michael Kemper said.

The boy was rushed to Maimonides Hospital, but did not survive.

The two siblings were not hurt.

Officers said the mother, who does not live at the home, left the children in the care of their father, who went to work and left the three of them unattended.

"Baby is not supposed to be home by itself. I know it's hard times, it's pandemic times. We try to make ends meet ... ya gotta work," a neighbor said.

"To hear that somebody just left children in the house with a dog, it's unbelievable," added Charles Pulliam of Flatbush.

The father, who police said has one unrelated assault charge on his record, was arrested Wednesday evening.

Police say 30-year-old Vernon Foster has been charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and acting in a manner injurious to a child.

Video shows the Rottweiler being carried out in a crate. It is now with Animal Control and Care. Neighbors said they've seen it out for walks with the family

"I've never seen him like aggressive," Ingrid Araque said.

One dog owner said even though she has a small breed, she wouldn't trust it alone with her son.

"I tell him to keep his face away from the dog. He's the most sweet thing, but he is an animal," the person said.

Neighbors started a memorial for the boy on Wednesday afternoon, leaving a teddy bear, candles and cards, one reading, "May God bless you and your family."

Editor's note: This story first appeared on August 11.

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