Woman saves five-year-old from dog attack

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - She put her life on the line to save a child's from a dog attack. Smith County authorities say the attack happened Wednesday night on County Road 1155 off of Highway 64. An East Texas woman was walking down her street when she spotted a black pit bull approaching a young girl.

"I was just standing there and then all of a sudden there's a dog on my arm and blood going everywhere," said Julie Darden. "I mean, I was covered in blood."

Darden sat in the hospital Thursday hurting, but happy.

"I was glad he got my arm because if he had gotten that little girl, she wouldn't have been here today," said Darden.

Like most evenings, Julie took her evening walk down the road in front of her house. Last night, she spotted five-year-old Noemi Charles playing in front of her house being approached by a dog that was too close for comfort.

"I walked up and moved my arm to motion her to go back to the house and tell her to go back," explained Darden. "The dog just jumped me and grabbed my arm and just clamped on and started ripping it."

Darden says the pit bull took her to the ground, not giving her a chance to escape, biting clear through her shoe into her foot.

"I thought there was no way he was going to leave me alone until I was dead," she said.

"I heard somebody screaming," said Julie Devilbiss, Durden's neighbor and walking partner. "It wasn't like the normal kids screaming. It was like a terrified scream."

A registered nurse, she walked outside to see her friend being attacked.

"My heart just dropped and I just kind of went into another zone just to take care of her," said Devilbiss. "It wasn't like it was me and her. I had to get in there and save her and help her."

The moment the dog let go, Darden's neighbors shot and killed it. A day later she is still trying to put the pieces together.

"I don't understand how people could have a dog that could be so vicious," said Darden.

And, as painful as her wounds are, she says better her than someone else.

"I'm around kids all the time," said Darden. "I volunteer a lot at the school and you just don't anything to happen to a child. I'm lucky because I still have my arm and I will use it again. We've got to do something people don't need to have dogs like that."

Darden says she should regain the full use of her arm after some physical therapy. We spoke with animal control who told us the pit bull is being tested for rabies.

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