Society

Police Investigate Parents Of Boy In Harambe Incident

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Isaiah DickersonIsaiah Dickerson

Pictures of the 3-year-old boy who fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, which forced staff to kill a 17-year-old gorilla, surfaced after his parents were questioned by police for possible negligence.

Isaiah Dickerson was seen outside of his Cincinnati home on June 1, wearing an orange “Super Mario Bros.” T-shirt and holding a toy truck, the New York Post reports. On his forehead and left elbow are visible scrapes, presumably from when he fell into the zoo enclosure, or from Harambe dragging him through water.

Police interviewed Isaiah’s parents, Michelle Gregg, 32, and Deonne Dickerson, 36, but said on June 3 they found no reason to charge them with a crime.

The investigation was provoked by complaints over the killing of Harambe, a rare western lowland gorilla, to reportedly save the boys’ life.

On May 29, Isaiah crawled through a barrier and fell 15-feet into the gorilla pit. Cellphone video captured the boy's face-to-face interaction with the 450-pound Harambe.

“Hi, my son fell in the zoo exhibit at the gorillas!," Gregg told a 911 operator. “There’s a male gorilla standing over him. I need someone to contact the zoo, please!”

“He’s dragging my son!," she said. "I can’t watch this!”

Zoo officials made the decision to kill Harambe instead of using a tranquilizer because the tranquilizer would not have stopped him fast enough to save Isaiah.

Isaiah’s grandmother, 55-year-old Valerie Dickerson, does not think the zoo should have shot Harambe.

“For me, I still think they could have gone another route though they said they couldn’t,” she told the Daily Mail. “But mainly I just thank God my grandson is okay.”

The video footage of the incident was devastating for Valerie to watch.

“It was upsetting," she said. "I had to have some family members come round and kind of compose me."

Valerie said Isaiah will receive counseling to manage his public ordeal.

“We’ll move forward," she said. "He’ll receive counseling and life goes on. You just have to think positive thoughts."

The family does not plan on suing the zoo.

In 38 years, the zoo never had a breach in security at the gorilla exhibit, according to the New York Post. It plans to reopen the exhibit on June 7 with a higher and reinforced barrier.

Sources: New York Post, The Daily Mail / Photo credit: Steve Dennett/Splash News via The Daily MailEnterprise News and Pictures via The Daily Mail

Was Isaiah's mother negligent?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 100%