DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A Raleigh man has been charged with three counts of attempted murder after police said he threw his three children in a lake Sunday night in Durham.
Alan Tysheen Eugene Lassiter, 29, of Holloway Terrace in Raleigh, was placed in Durham County Jail under a $2,250,000 bond after police say he tossed his kids into a lake on Shearwater Drive behind the Audubon Lake Apartments.
Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said during a news conference that Lassiter actually called 911 after the incident.
“CPS was trying to take my kids away from me. All I did was try to go get help…[inaudible]…I was dealing with some sexual desires…I started to go get help with, but instead they turned their back on me, the whole system and tried to take my kids [crying inaudible]..ya’ll take this and ya’ll left me. When somebody asks for help, really help them OK? Really help them, because ya’ll didn’t help me,” Lassiter cried.
Durham police officers were dispatched to the call on Shearwater Drive shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday.
“I just need the police, I need the police.” “Please send an ambulance, my daughters are in the lake drowning,” Lassiter told the 911 operator.
An off-duty Durham County sheriff’s deputy had pulled two children – a 3-year-old girl and a 5-year-old girl – out of the lake. Officers performed CPR on the children until EMS arrived.
A 7-year-old boy had been able to get away and run for help at a nearby business.
“I need somebody to go and break the news to my wife; I need an ambulance out there. She’s gonna be in shock, she’s gonna be in shock,” Lassiter told the 911 operator.
Durham Police said the two girls remain hospitalized. The 3-year-old girl is in critical condition and the 5-year-old girl is in stable condition. Police said the 7-year-old boy was with relatives.
Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said the off-duty deputy who rushed to the scene “by all means saved their lives.”
“He was in the area and he took proper action, immediate action,” Lopez said.
He said what happened was devastating for even the police who were involved.
“It’s very stressful for the responders,” Lopez said. “Whether you have children or not you are impacted by young lives who are placed in a horrendous situation.”
Lopez said his understanding was the mother was at the hospital with the children.
Police have not said why Lassiter tried to drown his children, but Lassiter told the 911 operator that child protective services was to blame.
“You blame CPS for this. You blame CPS. These [expletive]are dumb. They try to take people’s kids over dumb [expletive] and this is what you get! All I wanted was help! Ever since I tried to go get help, my problems got hundred times worse…nobody was there for me!”
A neighbor told WNCN that the news of the incident is shocking and that the apartment complex is usually a quiet area.
“That’s insane. Like, who would do that? It’s crazy,” said Debra Kay, neighbor.
“You think about your own children, like right away you think ‘gosh, my children are at that pond everyday to go fishing,’ but we always go with them. It seems like there were some circumstances behind this; it wasn’t like ‘oh, a kid slipped in,” there was definitely some circumstances going on,” said Rebecca Cheslock, neighbor.