June 26, 2009

Man pried open dog’s jaws to free girl, 6

A Florida woman is singing the praises of a man who pried open the jaws of a pit bull that was mauling her 6-year-old granddaughter.

Patricia Smith said her granddaughter, Nakaylah, was demonstrating how she could ride a bike without training wheels Thursday in her Fort Lauderdale neighborhood when the next-door neighbor's dog broke free from a chain that was binding him to a tree and attacked the young girl, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Friday.

Smith said Mark Almy, a city beach maintenance supervisor, came running down the street barefoot when he heard the girl's screams and pried open the jaws of the dog while an unidentified teenager who also rushed to help pulled on the dog's chain.

I don't know how that man pried that dog off of my granddaughter, Smith said. I'm so grateful.

Nakaylah's family said the girl suffered bites to her legs and buttocks, a bump on her head from falling off her bike and scrapes on her back and arms. She received 16 stitches at Broward Medical Center and the family said she is now at home and doing fine.

Smith said the neighbor's dog was seized by authorities and hailed Almy as a hero for his actions.

Almy said his role in the scene was nothing special and praised the teenage boy who grabbed the dog's chain for helping to free the girl.