Risked Their Lives to Stop a Violent Pit Bull Mauling
This post was originally published on November 22, 2011. Since that time, we have added new Carnegie Medal awardees who risked their lives to stop a violent pit bull attack.
- 2018: James Williams, 47-years old (Green Bay, Wisconsin) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal for saving the life of Jaikeem Hillard. On June 20, 2016, an adult pit bull dog dragged Jaikeem, 17 months, from his stroller, bit onto his head, and did not let go. A second pit bull attacked the boy's mother. Williams bolted to the scene, grasped the dog that was biting Jaikeem’s head, punched it until it released the boy, and threw the dog aside.
- 2016: Derrick Johnson, 51-years old (St. Louis Park, Minnesota) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal for risking his life to save Galen Carlson as a 97-pound pit bull mauled the man and killed his pet dog on July 20, 2015. Working at a nearby construction site, Johnson was alerted to the attack and pulled the dog off Carlson then banged the dog's head against the pavement until he was able to force it to the ground and immobilize it.
- 2015: Craig Randleman, 50-years old (Bend, Oregon) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal for saving the life Diamond White, 8, being attacked by a pit bull on April 3, 2014. Randleman was at a Spokane, Washington home when he heard screaming. Randleman rushed to help, kicking and punching the pit bull. He suffered severe bites to the face and arms trying to save the girl. Three adults received Carnegie Medals in this vicious pit bull attack.
- 2015: Thomas Joy, 28-years old (Spokane, Washington) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal for saving the life Diamond White, 8, being attacked by a pit bull on April 3, 2014. Joy and Randleman both rushed to help, kicking and punching the pit bull, removing the dog from Diamond. Randleman kept fighting the pit bull as Joy rushed Diamond to safety then returned to help free Randleman of the pit bull before leaving for a weapon.
- 2015: Jason Connerley, 28-years old (Spokane, Washington) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal for rescuing Craig Randleman, 50, being attacked by a pit bull on April 3, 2014. After Randleman helped rescue the little girl from the jaws of the pit bull, the dog attacked him. Randleman escaped to another yard and scaled a chain-link fence, but the pit bull continued its assault. Connerley repeatedly pounded the dog with a shovel until it fled.
- 2015: Charles David Jordan, 63-years old (Houston, Texas) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving the life of Monica Garza from two attacking pit bulls on March 5, 2014. Garza, 34, was jogging on a trial when she was viciously attacked by two pit bulls. Jordan, a retired database manager, was alerted to the attack. He quickly ran to her aid, jumped on top of her covering up her body then fought the dogs off barehanded.
- 2013: John Nash Hale, 59-years old (Toms River, New Jersey) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after attempting to rescue Jeffrey Lenox from two pit bulls on January 14, 2013. Lenox, 45, was taking a pre-dawn walk when the dogs attacked him. He cried for help, alerting Hale, who tried to find the victim in the darkness. When Hale began calling, the pit bulls viciously attacked him. Lenox and another man rushed to help Hale.
- 2012: Sean C. M. Vorel, 27-years old (Omaha, Nebraska) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving Marcella M. Gilbert from a violent pit bull attack on June 2, 2011. Vorel was driving by when he saw the attack unfold. He scaled an 8-foot fence with barbed wire at the top to intervene. Then he grabbed a board the size of a baseball bat and began beating the dog. The pit bull did not stop its attack until police shocked it with a Taser.
- 2011: Gerald A. LaMonica, 75-years old (Dearborn Heights, Michigan) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after rescuing Madison Boljesic from an attacking pit bull on September 25, 2010. Madison, 10, was playing on the sidewalk in a neighborhood when the pit bull attacked her. LaMonica ran toward them yelling, trying to distract the dog. The pit bull let go of the child and started attacking him. Both suffered bite injuries requiring sutures.
- 2011: Joseph D. Hayes, 51-years old (Sayreville, New Jersey) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after rescuing Cheryl Napolitano from an attacking pit bull August 31, 2007. Hayes heard the woman screaming and burst out of his home, covering 150 feet to the scene, and grabbed the dog by its hind legs and pulled it off Napolitano. When the pit bull resumed its attack, Hayes entered into hands on combat with the animal.
- 2010: Keith Sampson, 13-years old (Flint, Michigan) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving 3-year old Brooklyn Gibson from an attacking pit bull October 18, 2009. Brooklyn was in the backyard of her home when the pit bull entered the yard, clamped its jaws on her head began shaking her. Keith pulled the dog away and struggled to restrain it in a chokehold while his half brother took Brooklyn inside the house.
- 2010: Kristine Kelly Keaton, 37-years old (Flint, Michigan) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after intervening in the above incident involving Keith Sampson and Brooklyn Gibson. Upon hearing the children screaming, Keaton rushed into the yard and came to the aid of the half brother who was helping another child to safety. The pit bull escaped Keith's chokehold and latched onto Keaton's arm causing severe injuries.
- 2010: Charles H. Monnier, 66-years old (Molalla, Oregon) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after rescuing Christopher Friesen from attacking two dogs. Before Dawn, Friesen, 21, was walking on the sidewalk when two American bulldog-mixes attacked him, biting him and tearing off most of his clothes. Monnier heard his screams, grabbed his shovel and ran to help. Monnier swung his shovel at the dogs, getting them to back off.
- 2010: Duane VanLanHam, 48-years old (Saginaw, Michigan) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after rescuing Bridgetta Hadley from three frenzied pit bulls March 5, 2009. Hadley screamed for help as the pit bulls took her to the ground. Duane ran to her aid, placing himself between Hadley and her attackers, enabling her to get into a nearby car. The dogs then turned on Duane nearly chewing both of his legs off. (Related post)
- 2009: A. J. Skiptunas III, 49-years old (Wrightsville, Pennsylvania) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving Mary Caldwell, 63, from an attacking pit bull-mix. Caldwell was campaigning in the neighborhood when the dog bit into her leg and pulled her to the pavement. Skiptunas ran to her aid and suffered a hard bite to his right hand. Using his left hand, he pulled the dog off then pinned it to the ground with his knee!
- 2007: Randall K. L. McConnell, 41-years old (Ottowa, Ontario) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after rescuing Guy J. A. Clairoux from three attacking pit bull-mixes February 24, 2005. Clairoux had been trying to save his young son from the dogs when they knocked him to the ground and began mauling him. McConnell ran to his aid and began punching and kicking the dogs, which responded by tearing into his upper right arm.
- 2007: Francisco Santiago, 30-years old (Waterbury, Connecticut) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving Teresa Sciortino, 52, from a ferocious pit bull attack March 6, 2006. The dog viciously mauled Sciortino in her backyard. Santiago witnessed the attack when exiting his house. Armed only with a 3-foot piece of wood, he ran to the scene and began to strike the dog. After the dog fled, Santiago helped the victim back into her home.
- 2006: Kenneth LeRoy Joseph, 49-years old (Albany, Oregon) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after rescuing Barbara Miller and Rita Baker from a vicious pit bull March 24, 2005. Miller was assaulted by the dog when she went to visit Baker. Joseph heard the attack and ran to the scene. He removed his belt and noosed it around the dog's neck to pull it away from Miller. He later saved Baker after the same dog attacked her. (Related post)
- 2006: Thomas J. Moehler, 17-years old (Bayville, New Jersey) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving Mark Stanfield, 10, from a violent pit bull attack April 29, 2005. After fleeing the dog on his bike, Mark turned into a friend's driveway -- that's where the dog caught him. Moehler burst through his front door, one arm in a cast, and began pounding the dog. The pit bull then attacked him. The incident re-broke Moehler's arm.
- 2005: Michael Redice, 48-years old (Charlotte, North Carolina) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after attempting to save 8-year old Roddie Dumas Jr. from his father's four vicious pit bulls. The event occurred on April 16, 2004 while he walked his letter carrier route for the U.S. Postal Service. Redice first tossed his mailbag at the dogs then used a piece of wood to free the boy from the pit bulls' jaws. Roddie did not survive his injuries.
- 2005: Karl Vaartjes, 43-years old (Mississauga, Ontario) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after rescuing Deborah Fowler and Ryland Jacobs from a pit bull December 8, 2003. Fowler and her son Ryland, 4, were playing in their front yard when a loose pit bull clamped onto the boy's wrist then attacked Fowler. Vaartjes ran to the scene and lifted the boy up by his coat, out of the dog's reach. Both Vaartjes and Fowler were badly bitten.
- 2005: Sharon Gardner, 50-years old (Tucson, Arizona) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving Margaret V. Wiles, 54, from two attacking pit bulls October 8, 2003. Gardner witnessed the pit bulls attack Wiles and her dog while she was driving. She exited her car and positioned herself between Wiles and the attackers and began shouting to distract the dogs. The pit bulls then turned on her, one taking a fierce bite out of her leg.
- 2005: Kathleen Imel, 51-years old (Hillsboro, Oregon) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal for saving Joshua Pia Perez from attacking dogs July 27, 2004. Joshua was outside playing when two pit bulls attacked him. Imel was approaching in her vehicle at the time. She stopped and rushed over, then positioned herself between the boy and the dogs. Imel receive multiple injuries, including bites to the face, using her body to shield the boy.
- 2004: David Ware, 50-years old (Brampton, Ontario) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after rescuing Lisa Suzuki, 5, from a predatory pit bull October 20, 2003. Lisa had been walking along a sidewalk with her mother when the male pit bull charged, knocking her to the ground. Ware saw the attack from his car and Lisa's mother trying to free her from the dog's jaws. He flew out of his car and wrestled the dog to the ground while the child fled.
- 2000: Arthur Prisco, 44-years old (Randolf, Massachusetts) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving 11-year old Jake Louis from two vicious dogs March 26, 1999. Jake was attacked by a pit bull and rottweiler while walking down a street. Prisco saw the scene from his taxicab. He jumped out and began kicking the dogs. He pushed the boy behind him then beat the dogs with his fists. Prisco next pulled out his pocketknife and began stabbing the pit bull. That dog latched onto his arm until Prisco was able to free it.
- 2000: Darryl R. Dupont, 35-years old (Randolf, Massachusetts) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after assisting in the rescue of Jake Louis in the above attack. Dupont was another motorist who stopped at the scene. Armed only with a cardboard tube, he rushed over to help. Dupont picked up the boy and carried him to his car as the dogs continued to menace. Police arrived quickly and shot the blood-covered pit bull to death.
- 2000: Glen Edward Nikkel, 43-years old (Surrey, British Columbia) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving Elizabeth J. Dupre, 49, and Danielle M. J. R. Ovenden, 39, from two attacking pit bulls December 18, 1998. Traveling in his pickup truck, Nikkel and his wife stopped to help the first victim, Ms. Ovenden. Then the dogs attacked Ms. Dupre, taking her to the ground. Nikkel beat off both pit bulls with a heavy-duty extension cord.
- 1999: Margaret Hankes, 42-years old (St. Paul, Minnesota) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving 42-year old Kaye J. Peterson from an attacking pit bull April 24, 1998. Peterson was raking her backyard when a pit bull broke free of its tether in an adjoining yard. The dog took her to the ground and viciously mauled her. Hankes heard the woman's screams and ran over with a baseball bat. She beat the dog until it let go.
- 1999: Jessica R. Richardson, 44-years old (Belleville, Illinois) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after rescuing Brandon M. Robbins, 7, from a brutal pit bull attack March 27, 1998. Brandon was in the backyard of a home that he was visiting when a pit bull existed the residence and began mauling him. Richardson, a neighbor, heard the attack and ran to the scene striking the dog with a piece of wood. Jessica ended up badly bitten.
- 1998: Harvey Randolph, 53-years old (Palm Bay, Florida) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving 37-year old Jill Fitzgerald from a gang of pit bulls. Fitzgerald was jogging in her neighborhood when four pit bulls viciously attacked her. Randolph was alerted by her screams and ran to her aid unarmed. Though being attacked by the dogs himself, Randolph managed to pull her to her feet and into a van parked 40 feet away.
- 1989: Karl R. Schreiner, 75-years old (Indianapolis, Indiana) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after rescuing Brandon L. Spradley, 6, from two pit bulls October 3, 1988. Brandon was attacked by the dogs while waiting for a school bus. Alerted to the attack, Schreiner grabbed a wooden club, ran into the street and began beating the dogs. He clubbed the pit bulls until they desisted and left the scene. Brandon suffered serious injuries.
- 1988: Mark S. Wood, 38-years old (Detroit, Michigan) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after saving John J. Gehringer, 55, from two attacking pit bulls March 18, 1987. Wood saw the attack in progress from his car. He got out, obtained a club from a nearby business and approached the dogs. Both of the pit bulls turned on him, allowing Gehringer to regain his footing and escape. Woods finally escaped by jumping onto the hood of a car.
- 1985: John M. Walker Jr., 62-years old (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) - Presented with a Carnegie Medal after rescuing Arrick Denson from an attacking pit bull-cross October 2, 1984. Arrick, 8, was knocked to the ground by the dog and badly bitten in the head, chest and back. Walker heard the boy's cries and flew into action. He hit the dog repeatedly on the head with a board, diverting it away from Arrick and allowing him to escape.
See the related new release about this blog post.
11/22/11: Hero Stories: Honoring Those Who Risked Their Lives to Stop a Pit Bull Mauling
11/22/11: Recognized as Heroes by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission
11/22/11: Recognized as Heroes by Organizations and Municipalities
11/22/11: Recognized as Heroes by the DogsBite.org Community