Dad will remain in jail on charges of hacking girls with machete
The father accused of slashing his 10-year-old daughter and 17-year-old stepdaughter with a machete will remain in the Broward County Jail without bond on charges that include attempted murder.
At his first court appearance Saturday, Dennis Anthony Reid stood stoic and stared blankly to his left as Broward Judge Bernard Bober set bonds of $50,000 on each of the other two counts of aggravated child abuse.
Reid was also ordered not to contact the girls, who remain in Broward Health Medical Center in serious condition.
While Reid was learning his fate, their mother had visited the girls in the hospital. When reached at home about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, she said she did not know when the two victims would be well enough to return home.
She declined to comment any further and would not give her name or the names of her daughters.
There were eight vehicles parked outside her Lauderhill home. One woman who drove up said she was a relative who came in from out of town to join other relatives and friends who were supporting the family.
Reid had shown up Friday to take care of the children while their mother got ready to fly to Jamaica. But the visit turned violent just a few hours later: The dad grabbed a machete that was over a foot long and started slashing his children, police say.
The girls’ 7-year-old sister witnessed the whole attack but was unharmed.
Police say they don’t yet know what set Reid off. A neighbor in Lauderhill heard screaming and called 911 on Friday morning. “We received a frantic call stating that there was an individual chopping up females,” said Lt. Michael Santiago, a Lauderhill police spokesman.
The machete resembled the kind used to chop sugar cane or crack open coconuts, Santiago said. Reid slashed the 10-year-old on her neck, police said. The 17-year-old was more seriously injured, suffering cuts to her head, hand and wrist.
“It’s devastating," Santiago said. "These were some severe injuries.”
The attack in the home happened while the children’s mom was upstairs. She heard her daughters’ screams coming from downstairs and rushed to their aid. When she confronted Reid, he threatened her. Then he ran off, tossing the machete in the lawn next to the sidewalk, Santiago said.
Reid, 47, later turned himself in at the Broward County Jail. He is being held on two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated child abuse.
Both girls, who underwent surgery, are in stable condition at the hospital, Santiago said. Detectives are interviewing the 7-year-old about what she saw, but they might not figure out exactly what sparked the attack until the older girls are coherent enough to give statements, he said.
Police don’t yet know the specifics of Reid’s relationship to the mother, but Santiago said they have a history of domestic disputes and weren’t on great terms recently.
Still, Reid was involved in the girls’ lives and planned to care for them while their mom was in Jamaica. He doesn’t live with them, but showed up at the two-story house between 6 and 7 a.m. Friday, police said.
Police don’t yet know whether Reid brought the machete to the house or found it there. The home is situated in the 1100 block of Northwest 44th Terrace, north of Sunrise Boulevard and east of Florida’s Turnpike.
The mom was not injured. “She doesn’t know what prompted the situation to get to that point,” Santiago said.
Police have enough information to charge Reid, Santiago said.
Reid was booked into the jail late Friday night. He did not give a statement to police, according to the arrest report referenced in court Saturday morning.
Reid has faced traffic infractions in Broward County on charges of running a red-light camera in 2012 and making an improper U-turn in 2015.
Macie Anderson, 72, has lived in the neighborhood most of her life.
She walked over to the crime scene, which was surrounded by yellow police tape. She was shocked by what she saw.
“I don’t like to see these things happen,” she said. “God help us.”