Man mauled to death by his brother’s pit bulls

On April 13th, 2023, tragedy struck when Dezmond R. Thomas Trawick, a 22-year-old Minnessota resident, was fatally mauled by four pit bulls belonging to his older brother whilst playing in the backyard of his home.

Jerry Nelson, Thomas Trawick’s neighbor, witnessed the attack: “It was really bad. I saw him throwing a tennis ball to the dogs, when suddenly they went to him and began attacking. So I started to throw some rocks and sticks at the animals to get them away.” 911 was called, and the police arrived soon after, firing a non-lethal round at one of the pit bulls in an attempt to separate them. This prompted the dogs to retreat to Thomas Trawick’s house, and he was intubated and immediately transported to North Memorial Health Hospital where he died one hour later.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the bite marks from the attack were too severe, causing his death to officially be labelled an accident. The pit bulls have since gone into the care of Pups Under Police Security (PUPS), an animal holding facility, to go through “dangerous dog evaluations.” However, their owners have the option of turning the dogs over to the city, allowing for the hearings to be waved.

To support Thomas Trawick’s family in covering funeral, memorial, and daily expenses during this difficult time, Dionne Thomas set up a GoFundMe fundraiser in his tribute. The page shares what a generous, supportive and inspirational person he was: “He was an old soul, a generous giver of his time, support, and guidance.”