DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A North Carolina man has been charged with three counts of attempted murder after police said he threw his three children in a lake Sunday night in Durham.
Alan Lassiter, 29, was booked into the Durham County jail under $2,250,000 bond after police say he tossed his kids into a lake on Shearwater Drive behind the Audubon Lake Apartments.
PHOTOS: Children pulled from N.C. pond
Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said during a news conference that Lassiter actually called 911 after the incident.
In the call, Lassiter expressed that he was dealing with having sexual feelings toward children.
“CPS was trying to take my kids away from me. All I did was try to go get help… because I was dealing with some [inaudible] things, OK?… I was dealing with some sexual desires… I started to go get help with, but instead they turned their back on me, the whole system and tried to take my kids [crying inaudible]… y’all take this and y’all left me. When somebody asks for help, really help them OK? Really help them, because y’all didn’t help me,” Lassiter cried.
Durham police officers were dispatched to the call on Shearwater Drive shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday.
“I just need the police, I need the police. Please send an ambulance, my daughters are in the lake drowning,” Lassiter told the 911 operator.
An off-duty Durham County sheriff’s deputy had pulled two children, a 3-year-old girl and a 5-year-old girl, out of the lake. Officers performed CPR on the children until EMS arrived.
A 7-year-old boy had been able to get away and run for help at a nearby business.
“I need somebody to go and break the news to my wife; I need an ambulance out there. She’s gonna be in shock, she’s gonna be in shock,” Lassiter told the 911 operator.
Durham police said the two girls remain hospitalized. The 3-year-old girl is in critical condition and the 5-year-old girl is in stable condition. Police said the 7-year-old boy was with relatives.
Chief Lopez said the off-duty deputy who rushed to the scene “by all means saved their lives.”
“He was in the area and he took proper action, immediate action,” Lopez said.
He said what happened was devastating for even the police who were involved.
“It’s very stressful for the responders,” Lopez said. “Whether you have children or not you are impacted by young lives that are placed in a horrendous situation.”
Lopez said his understanding was the mother was at the hospital with the children.
Police have not said why Lassiter tried to drown his children, but Lassiter told the 911 operator that child protective services were to blame.