A South Sacramento family is mourning the loss of an eight-year-old boy who was tragically beaten to death while trying to heroically save his younger sister from being sexually molested.
According to a criminal complaint, Dante Daniels was attacked by his mother’s ex-boyfriend Deandre Chaney Jr., 23, on September 1. Dante had just started third grade.
California investigators say Chaney Jr. was attempting to perform a sexually lewd act on Dante’s sister, seven-year-old Danae. Dante’s grandmother, Monique Brown, said when Dante tried to save his sister, he was viciously attacked with a hammer.
"Trying to save his sister from this child molester, and that's why he was beat the worst,” Brown told KFVS 12.
In addition to beating Dante, Chaney Jr. turned a hammer and knife on Danae, as well as their mother, 28-year-old Elizabeth Salone, said investigators. The complaint alleges Chaney Jr. also used lighter fluid.
Immediately after the attack, Dante was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared brain dead. Six days later, Dante was pronounced dead.
Although Dante’s mother and sister both survived the attack, Brown says Elizabeth will probably never see out of her left eye again and her granddaughter Danae will need a lot of help.
However, Brown says Dante’s heroism has continued even after his death.
"Dante gave his heart to a four-year-old in Southern California, so a four-year-old lives because of [him],” Brown told KFVS 12.
Chaney Jr. is facing murder and attempted murder charges along with a charge of lewd acts with a child under 14.
A GoFundMe has been created for the family as they recover.