Authorities are hailing the quick actions of a young boy and the bravery of a construction worker for stopping a pit bull attack in the Twin Cities.
Marshall Schmitz, 9, turned to CS McCrossan Construction worker Derrick Johnson for help when he saw a pit bull attacking a man walking his dog in St. Louis Park on Monday.
"I saw a man walking a little dog, and then a pit bull I'd never seen before run after the man," Marshall said. "And the man was holding his little dog in his arms in the air, and then the man got knocked over."
The pair's quick action helped prevent further injury to the elderly man, but they weren't able to save his little dog.
"I grabbed a hold of him (the pit bull) by the collar and held him down to the ground, but he would not let go of the little dog, even though the dog was already dead," Johnson said.
"The little dog's owner already had six or seven dog bites and was in a lot of pain."
Johnson continued wrestling with the pit bull until two police officers arrived, he told KARE-TV.
"When we arrived, the construction worker, Derrick Johnson, was doing his best to try to get this pit bull off of this elderly male," St. Louis Park police officer Mike Merwin said. "A couple of us assisted Derrick in keeping the animal pinned to the street until we could subdue it enough to get it into my squad car."
The officers took the dog to an animal hospital, where it will stay until an investigation is complete.
"I wouldn't recommend that anyone approach a pit bull, especially when it's attacking, but the efforts of Derrick were nothing short of heroic," Merwin said.
The officer also commended Marshall's actions, saying the boy behaved "beyond his years" by stopping what he was doing and running for help.
The attack victim has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
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