Things That Matter

Detroit Millionaire Raises Money For Young Girl’s Funeral After She Died From Vicious Dog Attack

On Monday morning, Emma Valentina Hernandez, 9, enjoyed a hearty breakfast, passed her back-to-school physical and spent the afternoon riding her bike in her Detroit neighborhood. That’s when three dogs, described as pit bulls by the police, attacked her in an alley. One of her neighbors heard her screaming and ran to the alley where she laid. Emma’s neighbors all tried to help save her, one even fired a gun and shot one of the dogs.

Her father, Armando, performed CPR on the scene. Today, he says he feels ’empty’ after paramedics were unable to save her. Emma died from her injuries.

Emma Hernandez’s family describes her as “a smart and silly girl… a beautiful soul inside and out.”

@USRealityCheck / Twitter

Emma leaves behind two brothers, ages 12 and 4, who will be returning to the Academy of the Americas without her next week. They’re currently with their abuela in Detroit while their parents grieve.

Just one week before Emma’s death, Armando got into a fight with the dogs’ owner over the inadequate fence enclosure.

@Marlenabobena / Twitter

He told Detroit News that he had warned the owner that his yard fence, the one his dogs eventually lept over to attack Emma, was too flimsy. Neighbors told the outlet that they had filed police reports about the dogs, who seemed too skinny, and were roaming the neighborhood freely.

The dog’s owner is in custody, and the dogs are likely going to be euthanized.

While a bullet didn’t stop the attack, a cement brick was finally enough to scare the dogs away.

@JennSchanzWXYZ / Twitter

“I went and grabbed a brick and threw it right at the dog,” neighbor Edward Cruz told CNN affiliate WXYZ. “They all ran and I stood next to the girl to make sure she was OK and I yelled out for help.”

That’s when Deborah Golden heard the screaming and ran to find Emma laying on her back with bite marks on her neck.

@wxyzdetroit / Twitter

A neighbor quickly called on Armando to come help his daughter. Around the corner from his house, Emma laid in a pool of blood, with Golden performing CPR. Armando applied pressure to the wounds in her neck to help stop the bleeding. The injuries were too severe to be recovered from, and she died at the hospital.

Emma’s injuries were so appalling, counseling services were offered to emergency responders.

Untitled. Digital Image. Chavez Academy. 21 August 2019.

Detroit Police Department Captain Russel Solano told CNN affiliate WDIV, “It’s hard for me not to cry. It’s tough, real tough. We’re talking about a 9-year-old girl who was just out there playing, and now she’s not here.”

“This is her neighborhood. She should be able to be free,” tía and godmother to Emma, Claudia Stapleton told WDIV.

@freep / Twitter

“This is her neighborhood. She should be able to be free and do what every kid does — walk around, ride their bikes — they shouldn’t be afraid to be in their own neighborhood,” Claudia said, holding a photo of Emma in front of her family’s home and memorial. “This is just very devastating. Very, very hurtful for this family.”

A Detroit millionaire has helped raise nearly $50k for Emma’s funeral costs in less than 24 hours.

@pulte / Twitter

Claudia was on her way to the cemetery to help the family understand the funeral costs for her niece when a friend called to let her know that the funeral was paid for. Founder of The Blight Authority, Bill Pulte, shared the GoFundMe link. A few hours later, he tweeted again, to assure the family that he would personally make sure the family doesn’t have to pay for the funeral.

A warrant is pending for the dogs’ owners but has not been issued.

@wxyzdetroit / Twitter

The Detroit police are handling the investigation, and Detroit Police Chief James Craig is not mincing words in getting justice for Emma. “Certainly the owner has a responsibility when they have violent animals that those animals are to be secure at all times,” Craig said in a press conference Tuesday morning. “I believe that, and if you can’t secure the animal, you shouldn’t have the animal — period, not open for conversation.”

While many sympathizers for Emma have taken to Twitter to call for murder charges against the owner, the prosecutor’s office has not disclosed what charges they are considering.

READ: Authorities Are Investigating The Tragic Death Of A Couple In Front Of Their Son While On Vacation In Guerrero

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Comedian Joe ‘El Cholo’ Luna Dies From COVID-19 Just Days After He Posts a Video Describing His ‘Journey’ on Instagram

Things That Matter

Comedian Joe ‘El Cholo’ Luna Dies From COVID-19 Just Days After He Posts a Video Describing His ‘Journey’ on Instagram

Photo: joeelcholo/Instagram

Another day, another tragic COVID-19 related death. On November 3rd, a Los Angeles comedian Joe “El Cholo” Luna passed away from the coronavirus.

Throughout his battle with COVID-19, Luna documented his struggle through social media.

Just two days before he passed away, Luna posted a video on Instagram chronicling his COVID-19 journey. He shared the video with his followers for “educational purposes”. In the video, Luna got extremely candid about the realities of the deadly illness.

“Let me tell you, man, when I would hear people talk about what COVID did to them, I always said to myself, ‘You know what? I doubt it’s that bad’,” he says in the video. “I’ll tell you guys right now, I’ve been putting up a fight. I’ve been fighting for my life for the last week or so, man. This COVID shit is no joke.”

Luna described his symptoms: losing his taste and smell, fainting, having trouble breathing, fevers, chills, chest pains. He also contracted pneumonia. At one point, he even lost consciousness.

Luna explained that he had been discharged from the hospital a few days ago simply to be taken back to the hospital via an ambulance. “I ended up passing out,” he said in the clip.

He also revealed that his mother, his girlfriend, and his children had tested positive for the virus. His mother was also hospitalized with COVID-19 and pneumonia.

Luna was a diabetic and had previously lost both of his legs due to the disease. According to him, COVID-19 hit him especially hard due to his preexisting conditions.

Luna’s family and community mourn the loss of a vibrant man who had been full of humor and light when he was alive.

“We are currently all mourning him because not only was he a great son, dad, hubby but also a best friend to many of us,” wrote Blanca Castro on his GoFundMe page.

She continued: “He fought hard after losing both legs to stay ok. He fought hard with the everyday pain. He was my comedian superhero. Even when he was hurting he managed to put a smile on our faces.”

Because of his father’s bright spirit, his family insists on celebrating his death the way he would have wanted: with humor. “For his funeral, he doesn’t want anyone crying so we’re going to put together a show because that’s what he would have wanted,” said his son, Jose Talavera, to Fox 11 News. “He wanted people to be laughing and having fun,” said Talavera.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Ben Watkins Of ‘MasterChef Junior’ Has Died From A Rare Form Of Cancer

Things That Matter

Ben Watkins Of ‘MasterChef Junior’ Has Died From A Rare Form Of Cancer

Fox

The “MasterChef Junior” family is sadly in mourning.

Ben Watkins, a fan-favorite contestant on the show for children who love to cook, has died. Watkins was just 14. He passed away on Monday, after a year-long battle of fighting a rare form of cancer.

According to Chicago Tribune Watkins passed away after struggling with a rare form of cancer for a year and a half.

MasterChef Junior/ FOX

Just three years after Watkins lost both of his parents to a domestic violence incident, the teen’s family is being forced to say ‘goodbye’ to him. Watkins uncle Anthony Edwards and grandmother Donna Edwards issued a statement on Monday that said their beloved family member had gone “home to be with his mother.”

“After losing both of his parents in September 2017, we have marveled at Ben’s strength, courage and love for life. He never, ever complained. Ben was and will always be the strongest person we know. When Ben’s rare illness was shared with the world, he was so heartened by the outpouring of love he received from every corner of the globe–especially here in his hometown of Gary, Indiana,” the statement, which was shared on a GoFundMe campaign page, stated. “We cannot thank this community enough for holding our family up in prayer and for all that you’ve done. Ben suffered more than his share in his fourteen years on this Earth but we take solace in that his suffering is finally over and in that, in the end, Ben knew he was loved by so many. #Love4Ben.”

Watkins was diagnosed last year with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma, just days before his 13th birthday.

MasterChef Junior

Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma is a rare soft tissue cancer. It occurs in only a small number of children and young adults and is characterized by cystic blood-filled spaces and made up of histiocyte-like cells.

“Young Ben is one of only six people in the entire world diagnosed with this illness. Ben is currently undergoing treatment at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Despite all of Ben’s trials and tribulations, he remains positive and looks forward to getting back in the kitchen and pursuing his dream to become an Engineer.   Members of the community have joined together to see that the life challenges that Ben has gone through does not derail him from reaching his full potential and fulfilling his dreams,” the statement concluded.

According to Chicago Tribune, Watkin’s had a golf-ball-sized tumor in his neck that had grown into a grapefruit-sized mass. Watkins underwent chemotherapy treatment for tumors located on his lungs, spine, and shoulder.

“Despite all the pain and sickness Ben went through, he never complained, not once,” Edwards told the Chicago Tribune. “We were praying for a different outcome. But Ben’s lungs could no longer give him the air he needed to breathe. It’s been devastating.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, “When Ben was first diagnosed, one of his doctors began writing a medical paper on Ben’s rare disease. Adhering to privacy rules, the doctor didn’t use Ben’s name. You can use my name,” Ben told the doctor. ‘Do whatever it takes. I don’t want another kid to have to go through what I’m going through.’ Ben and his family also consented for tissue to be extracted from his cancerous tumors after his death, to be shared with researchers. By doing so, Ben’s altruistic legacy will continue in the medical community as well as in his family.”

Speaking about his nephew, Edwards told Chicago Times that “Ben will always be our superhero.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com