Man suffers injuries while saving child from vicious dog attack

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov.3, 2014) - An Indianapolis man is being called a hero after rescuing a 12-year-old boy from two attacking pit bulls Sunday afternoon.

An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer responded to a report of aggressive animals actively attacking a young mentally challenged child in the 3000 block of N. Gladstone Ave Sunday afternoon. While in route to the scene, the officer was told that the dogs were attacking an adult male that was trying to protect the child.

The officer arrived and saw a man in the middle of the intersection of 31st and Gladstone being attacked by two pit bulls. The man, later identified as Russell Hill, was on the ground with both dogs biting him.

Hill's clothing had been ripped off and he was bleeding profusely from numerous wounds. The officer exited his vehicle, and immediately shot a black and white pit bull twice. The wounded dog started limping away, but eventually turned around and came back towards Hill and the officer.

The officer then shot the dog two more times. The dog stumbled a few feet away and laid down on the ground.

Russell Hill

Russell Hill

The second pit bull, brown in color, stopped attacking Hill when the officer fired his weapon at the animal. It fled back to its residence in the 3100 block Forest Manor.

Animal Control Officers arrived at the home and were able to capture the brown dog.

Hill stated he was in his garage and heard a child screaming. He said he looked outside and saw a child being attacked by two pit bulls. He grabbed a large piece of wood and ran to the child. Hill stated he started hitting the pit bulls, trying to stop the attack on the child.

Witness Rachel Graves told FOX59 her own efforts to scare the dogs off with a fire hydrant and several tree branches were unsuccessful.   That's when she was Hill running from his garage to the spot where the dogs were attacking the boy.

"He grabbed him by both of his arms from the back and pulled him away off to the side," Graves said.  "That was the most heroic thing, because he put himself in harm's way to save him.  No question, no hesitation. "

The pit bulls then turned on Hill and started attacking him.  Hill said he was able to fend the dogs off as he was backing away from the injured child.  Hill stated that the dogs eventually knocked him down and started to bite him everywhere.

He said he could not remember anything after being knocked down until he heard the gunshots from the IMPD officer.

The child is mentally challenged and could not answer officers' questions.  Graves said she was able to wrap a blanket around the boy's injured leg after Hill got the dogs off him.

Witnesses on scene stated the child was walking with a group of other children when the two pit bulls came out of no where and attacked the child.

The boy was back home Monday after being released from the hospital.  His leg was heavily bandaged from bite wounds.

Hill had numerous injuries over his entire body. The most severe injuries were to his hands, arms, legs and feet. He also had numerous punctures on his stomach, chest, back and neck from the attack.

Hill's sister, Dorothy Wilson told FOX59 her brother would require surgery, including skin grafts, as part of his recovery.

She said word of Hill's actions quickly spread among staffers at I.U. Methodist Hospital.

"The nurse came in and she was kind of in tears and she said 'You know you saved his life.  You're the hero.  We hear so many bad things, this is a good story.  You saved his life.'"

Wilson said she was not surprised to hear of her brother's actions.

"He's just that kind of a person," she said.  "I wouldn't expect any less."

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