A mother has been arrested on suspicion of child cruelty after an unsupervised 2-year-old was found surrounded by a pack of dogs who were apparently protecting him at Brentwood Park in Victorville, police said Thursday.
Law enforcement personnel were sent to the park, located at 14026 Hook Blvd., around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a report regarding a toddler there who was surrounded by dogs, according to a Victorville Police Department news release.
The sergeant who was the first to arrive discovered the child was wearing only a soiled diaper in the wet weather, the release stated. The little boy was surrounded by approximately seven dogs, who were very protective of him as the sergeant tried to get the child out of the rain and cold.
After safely removing the child, authorities located the toddler’s home a short distance away from the park. When they arrived, they found the front door open and the dogs from the park inside.
The child’s mother, identified as 26-year-old Cassandra Bustamante, as well as two young siblings, were inside the home at the time. Bustamante was apparently sleeping when her son had left the residence, and was unaware he was gone, according to the release.
Police requested a response from San Bernardino County Children and Family Services because of the circumstances surrounding the call and the home’s overall condition, authorities said.
Animal control also responded to the residence to handle the dogs and ended up shooting one after it “became very aggressive and lunged” at the sergeant, trying to bite him, the release stated.
The dog survived and was last reported to be in stable condition.
Bustamante was arrested and booked into the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto on suspicion of child cruelty, according to police.
The three children were eventually released to the custody of their father.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Victorville Police Department, which is part of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, at 760-241-2911. Anonymous tipsters may call 800-782-7463, or go to wetip.com.