Belfast Telegraph

Neighbours tell of their shock as police probe death of 10-year-old boy - attack by family dog one line of enquiry

By David Young

A community was reeling last night after the sudden death of a 10-year-old boy.

An attack by the family dog - a large Alsatian - is one line of enquiry being investigated by police.

Ambulance crews and paramedics raced to the scene in Queen's Park, Glengormley, yesterday just after noon, where they found little Ryan Busa covered in blood with lacerations to his face.

He was rushed to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, but his life could not be saved.

On Monday police said a 38-year-old man remains in custody assisting police with their enquiries.

A post-mortem examination is due to take place today to determine the cause of death.

The Lithuanian family of three - a father and two young sons - had lived in the terraced property for around a year.

Ryan was a pupil at Ashgrove Primary School.

His younger brother, who is seven and has autism, attends Hillcroft School.

Amanda Mullen (50), who lives just a few doors away, described the scene of horror.

"I looked out the window and saw an ambulance," she said.

"Then I saw police wearing plastic gloves - that's when I knew something was wrong.

"I saw the wee boy Ryan being brought out of the house.

"He was plastered with blood. His head was wrapped up and the ambulance men were trying to do CPR on him.

"They did it outside the house and inside the ambulance, and then rushed him off to hospital."

Amanda said the family were friendly and pleasant.

"You would never see anyone going in or out of the house," she said.

"They were very quiet.

"It just makes me feel so sad.

"For such a young life to be snuffed out... I just feel numb.

"To realise something as serious as that has happened on your doorstep, and to such a young child, it's horrible."

Another neighbour, Deborah Smith, said: "He was a lovely wee boy.

"Him and his brother would play in the street.

"It's terrible news. I can't get over it.

"I feel so sorry for that little boy."

Deborah said the family Alsatian was kept in the yard to the rear of the house.

"It was a big dog, but I never saw them walking it. I just heard it barking," she added.

There is no confirmation yet as to the cause of the boy's death.

A post-mortem is to be held to ascertain exactly how he died.

SDLP councillor Noreen McClelland said local people were horrified.

She said: "It's an absolute tragedy. This is a quiet and tight-knit community.

"Local people are just devastated."

Alliance councillor John Blair - who once lived in the house where yesterday's incident happened - said he was "deeply saddened" for the whole community.

"My thoughts are with the family and friends of this young boy who tragically lost his life today, as the police continue to search for answers as to how this happened.

"I would urge anyone with information to come forward and speak to the PSNI as soon as possible."

Police later confirmed they had launched an investigation into the youngster's death.

It's understood a man - believed to be the dead boy's father Marek (38) - was being questioned about how the fatal incident occurred.

The officer leading the investigation Detective Inspector Darren McCartney is appealing for anyone in the local community who has any information that can assist with the investigation to contact detectives by calling 101, quoting reference number 848 15/10/17.

Belfast Telegraph

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