A South Florida man has been arrested for attacking and severely injuring his 10-year-old daughter and her half-sister with a machete, police said.
47-year-old Dennis Reid had shown up at the home of the girls in Lauderhill on the morning of Friday, February 14 to take care of them while their mother prepared to travel to Jamaica. He later attacked them with the machete.
The 7-year-old sister of the victims witnessed the incident but was not harmed.
The police, who are yet to find out what could have prompted the attack, said they were called to the home around 10 am by a neighbor who heard serious screaming.
“We received a frantic call stating that there was an individual chopping up females,” said Lauderhill police spokesman Lt. Michael Santiago.
He said Reid slashed the 10-year-old on her neck while her 17-year-old sister suffered cuts to her head, hand and wrist.
“It’s devastating,” Santiago said. “These were some severe injuries.”
Court records cited by CNN show that Reid lives at a different address – in Lauderdale Lakes, north of Lauderhill. That Friday, he reportedly argued with the mother of the children when he arrived to take care of them while she prepares for her trip.
According to the police, the mother went upstairs while they were arguing, and soon heard screams from downstairs. When she rushed down, she found the girls injured and confronted Reid, who threatened her and fled the scene, leaving the machete behind.
The police are yet to know if Reid brought the machete to the house or found it there. The machete is the kind used to chop sugar cane or crack open coconuts, Santiago said, adding that while his officers began searching for Reid, he later turned himself in at the Broward County jail.
He is currently being held on two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated child abuse.
The girls underwent surgery Friday afternoon and are in stable condition at the hospital, said Santiago.
Reid has been ordered not to contact the girls as investigations continue.