Police say Alan Tysheen Eugene Lassiter called 911 Sunday night and said he had just killed both of his daughters.
The caller said he didn’t know his exact location beyond what he described as a lake behind a Harris Teeter and Lowe’s off N.C. 54, but he told the 911 dispatcher he blamed Child Protective Services. The organization was trying to take his children away from him, the caller said.
“All I did was try to go get help because I was dealing with some pedophilia things,” he said. “I was dealing with some sexual desires that I tried to go get help with. But instead they turned their back on me.”
According to police, Lassiter, 29, of Raleigh had thrown his two daughters, ages 3 and 5, into a shallow pond surrounded by Audubon Lake apartments, near Interstate 40, north of The Streets at Southpoint.
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An off-duty Durham County sheriff’s deputy, who lived at the apartment complex, pulled the girls from the water as police were responding to the 911 call. Police say Lassiter’s 7-year-old son had been able to get away from his father and run for help.
Officers performed CPR, and the girls were taken to the hospital. The 3-year-old girl was in critical condition, and the 5-year-old was in stable condition as of Monday morning, police said. Police say it is unclear how long the girls were in the water.
Lassiter was charged with three counts of attempted murder and is being held in the Durham County jail on a $2 million bail.
According to the 911 tape, the caller told the dispatcher that he needed an ambulance and someone “to go and break the news to my wife.”
“She is going to be in shock,” he said.
The caller told the 911 dispatcher that his problems worsened after he sought help.
“The whole system tried to take my kids,” he continues. “When somebody asks for help, really help them, OK? Really help them.”
“Nobody helped me ... nobody helped me.”
Durham sheriff’s Deputy David Earp was alerted to the crisis by the apartment manager, according to Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez.
Lopez said at a Monday morning news conference that the apartment manager heard a disturbance and found Lassiter making the 911 call. Lassiter handed the phone to the manager who called Earp, 26, for help, Lopez said. Police said Lassiter went to sit in his car and remained there until taken into custody.
Earp confirmed Monday afternoon that he pulled the two girls from the pond. His tennis shoes, still wet, sat in front of his apartment. He declined to comment further because he didn’t want to violate protocol, he said.
Lopez said he and the first responders, including Earp, were emotionally impacted by the situation.
“I could see it last night when I was on the scene,” Lopez said. Lopez said Monday that the mother was at the hospital with the children.
For a while, Lassiter lived with his wife and children at Country Club Homes, a cottage-style apartment community in the Hayes Barton neighborhood in Raleigh. A person who now occupies the family’s former apartment said he has lived there about five months.
Rachael Lane, Lassiter’s former neighbor, said while many of the residents in that section of the neighborhood would socialize, the Lassiters were cordial but mainly kept to themselves.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.
Staff writers Mark Schultz and Thomasi McDonald and news researcher Teresa Leonard contributed to this report.