Local News

Brother: Raleigh man charged in daughter's death wasn't supposed to see children

Posted September 25, 2015 12:10 p.m. EDT
Updated September 25, 2015 3:24 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh man charged with trying to drown his children last weekend wasn't supposed to even see them because authorities considered him unstable, his brother said Friday.

Alan Tysheen Eugene Lassiter, 29, is charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder. Police say he threw his daughters, ages 3 and 5, into a pond at the Audubon Lake apartment complex in Durham on Sunday night, and his 7-year-old son escaped and ran for help.

An off-duty Durham County deputy who lived nearby pulled the two girls from the water, but 3-year-old Calista Lassiter died Wednesday. Her sister has been released from a local hospital.

Bobby Lassiter said the children were supposed to be in their mother's custody, and he doesn't know why his brother was allowed to be around them.

"That's the reason why he actually went to the (Child Protective Services) because he felt like he had a problem," Bobby Lassiter said. "They sat down with him, they talked to him – the caseworker and whoever – and everybody who worked down there all came to an agreement. We can't let you see your kids because you're not mentally stable right now."

Alan Lassiter said in a 911 call Sunday that he was having issues with pedophilia and sought help from CPS, and the decision to remove his children from his care drove him to the drowning attempt.

Bobby Lassiter said his brother checked himself into UNC WakeBrook Recovery Center for mental health treatment but was told to leave after two weeks because he didn't have insurance.

"He was going through some things that, obviously, he felt he didn’t get help with. Even if he did seek some help, he probably felt like that wasn’t the help he needed," said Andre Knight, Alan Lassiter's nephew.

UNC WakeBrook, which is adjacent to WakeMed hospital in Raleigh, issued a statement that it serves uninsured patients but declined further comment.

"We discharge patients only when they are ready and help them get to the next level of appropriate care. Because of state and federal privacy laws, we cannot comment on any specific patient," the statement reads.

The state Division of Social Services also cited privacy concerns in declining to comment on decisions made by CPS in the case.

Bobby Lassiter said his sister-in-law, Ashley Ivey Lassiter, should face charges because she allowed Alan Lassiter around the children despite CPS saying he shouldn't have contact with them.

"She allowed him to pick those kids up," Bobby Lassiter said. "You don’t allow a mental person to be around your kids. That means you are pretty much setting yourself up for your kids' failure."

Knight called his uncle "one of the greatest dad’s I’ve known" and said the circumstances around his cousin's death "has been a catastrophe on our family."

After learning of his daughter's death on Wednesday, Alan Lassiter tried to commit suicide by jumping off of one of the top levels of the pod where inmates are held in the Durham County jail. He had a black eye when he appeared in court on Friday.

Because of the suicide attempt, authorities have transferred Alan Lassiter to Central Prison for his own safety.