Man who saved 12-year-old boy from dog attack faces long recovery
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 10, 2014) – Just over a week after risking his life to save a 12-year-old boy from two attacking pit bulls, Russell Hill had hoped to be home from the hospital by now.
But he’s not.
“I’m not doing bad,” he says while catching his breath. “I figure I’m doing okay.”
The 60-year-old Indianapolis resident is still laid up at Methodist Hospital at I.U. Health. His hands and arms are bandaged up from extensive bite injuries. His chest and legs bear the same wounds. But his ankles got the worst of it. He’s still struggling to walk.
Still, Hill says he would do it again.
“Not trying to be no hero,” Hill said. “Only thing I seen was a little boy.”
That was after Hill says he heard the sounds of his young neighbor, Jalon Lewis, being attacked by the two dogs at the corner of 30th and Gladstone. Hill ran from his garage workshop and tried stopping one of the dogs by hitting it in the head with a large log. But that only turned the dogs on Hill. He was able to grab Lewis and drag him away from the dogs, but they quickly pounced on Hill and got him down on the ground in the middle of the street.
“I actually got up one time, but they got me back down,” Hill said.
From there, Hill’s memory gets hazy. He remembers struggling to get the dogs off him as they bit into his arms and legs.
“I just figured I was gone, man,” he said.
When Metro Police arrived they saw the dogs biting Hill in the middle of the intersection. His clothing had been ripped off and he was covered in blood.
“Only thing that saved me was the police,” he said.
The first IMPD officer on the scene shot and killed one of the dogs. The other got away. It has since been captured, quarantined and euthanized by Indianapolis Animal Care and Control. Their officers are still trying to make contact with the owner of the dogs.
Russell says he didn’t really think about what he was doing when he ran between the two vicious dogs. He just reacted.
“I kind of thought I was going to get away, you know what I’m saying,” he said. “I’d do it again.”
It didn’t take long for Russell’s story to spread around the hospital. Doctors and nurses who saw Russell’s picture on FOX59 started calling him “hero.” Of course, Russell doesn’t see it that way.
“I’m just glad I was there,” he said. “Don’t think I wasn’t scared, though. Superman is a comic book. But, I had to do something and I’m glad he’s okay.”
Jalon Lewis was released from Riley Hospital the next day with bandages and crutches for his injured leg.
Hill is facing a much longer recovery, including rehabilitation for his injured ankles and hands. And while he is glad he made the decision he did, there is concern about the mountain of medical bills he and his family are expecting.
His friends and neighbors have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for those medical bills.