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3-year-old dies after father allegedly threw her into Durham pond

Posted September 23, 2015

— One of two girls allegedly thrown into a pond at a Durham apartment complex by their father late Sunday has died, police said Wednesday.

Police say Alan Tysheen Eugene Lassiter, 29, threw his three children into the pond near Shearwater Drive, and an off-duty Durham County deputy, David Earp, pulled the 3-year-old and her 5-year-old sister from the water. The girls' 7-year-old brother was able to get away and run for help, police said.

The 5-year-old has been released from a local hospital, police said.

In an emotional, eight-minute call to 911, a man police identified as Lassiter tells a dispatcher that he tried to drown his his children because Child Protective Services "wanted to take them away from me."

"I was dealing with some pedophilia things," the man told the dispatcher. "I was dealing with some sexual desires that I was trying to get some help with, but instead, they turned their back on me, the whole system, and tried to take my kids, and they took the rest of the, of the little happiness that I had.

"Y’all take this and learn from me. When somebody asks for help, really help them, OK? Because y’all didn’t help me," he continued. "You blame CPS for this. They (are) trying to take people’s kids over dumb (expletive), and this is what you get! All I wanted was help … They wasn't there for me. Nobody was there for me … Nobody helped me."

Clinical social worker Larry Ellsworth, who has never worked with Lassiter but specializes in mental health issues, said Lassiter may have been getting help, just not the kind he wanted.

"People blame Child Protective Services lots of times for things that are going on," Ellsworth said. "It seems a desperate attempt to control that situation or exact revenge on social services for not doing whatever it was he was demanding "

Court records obtained by WRAL News show Lassiter has a history of trying to destroy what he’s desperately afraid to lose.

His then-girlfriend sought a restraining order against him in May 2009, alleging that he "verbally threatened to throw hot oil in my face and cut my hair off." She went on to allege that he "threatened to take my son away from me ... because I didn’t want to marry him."

The woman also said Lassiter had threatened her before, but she later had the order dismissed and married him.

Lassiter is charged with three counts of attempted murder in the case, although one of those charges could soon be upgraded to murder. He remains in the Durham County jail under a $2.25 million bond.


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  • Bernadette Dan Unger Sep 24, 2015
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    Based on what has been reported so far, some ambulance chaser will plead this down to some sort of mental illness and the as usual weak justice system will set him down on soft cotton.

  • Rachel Parrish Sep 23, 2015
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    This is so sad. My heart goes out to the family.

  • Rick Fetter Sep 23, 2015
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    There is no greater betrayal than when a parent harms their own child. Our soft liberal judicial system will never deliver true justice.

  • Anne Havisham Sep 23, 2015
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    My thoughts are with her older sister and brother, who have to live with the memory of what their father (allegedly) tried to do to them, and with Deputy Earp, who pulled the two girls out of the water and then separated them, so the older girl wouldn't be frightened by watching the attempts to save the younger one.

  • Salatheal Hasty Sep 23, 2015
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    Really Sad...Take Flight Little Angel....