GREENVILLE, S.C. —
A Greenville woman says the quick and heroic action of a utility company lineman saved her from being killed by two pit bulls, and she has pushed to have him acknowledged for his bravery.
Caren Senter, 58, said she was walking downtown on Hampton Avenue on June 17 to have lunch with her family and attend a matinee performance of the "Lion King," when she was attacked by two pit bulls that were running loose.
Senter told police she was familiar with the dogs from living in the neighborhood, but they usually just barked aggressively from inside a cage at the home. Senter said the dogs knocked her down, and one attacked her leg while the other clamped down on her upper arm and shoulder.
Senter, who is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs less than 120 pounds, said she started screaming for help. She said Douglas Nathaniel Dixon, a lineman for Midwest Powerline who was doing work for Duke Energy a couple blocks away, ran toward her "with no thought to his own safety."
Senter said, "As Mr. Dixon ran up, the dog that was attacking my leg stopped and charged at him. Luckily, he had on heavy work boots, unlike my flip flops, and was able to kick the dog in an effort to defend himself.
"The other dog then dropped my shoulder to join in the attack on Mr. Dixon. It was at this point, when Mr. Dixon thought he might be forced to the ground also, that the owner of the dogs finally came out and called them off.
"The police and animal control arrived right about this time, as there must have been several 911 calls in response to my screams for help. Both the police officers and my doctor later agreed that I might have lasted only another minute fighting off the dogs and (may have had) an artery severed had Mr. Dixon not intervened when he did."
Senter was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room where she received 57 stitches. She since has undergone weeks of physical therapy.
"I am hoping to make a full recovery," she said. "If one can ever fully recover from something like that."
She wrote to Dixon's bosses and said: "I did not write this letter to opine on pit bulls, the irresponsibility of some pet owners or the status of leash laws. The reason for my letter is simple: to make you aware that your employee, Mr. Dixon, saved my life; he selflessly put himself into harm's way for a total stranger, and ignored his own personal safety to help someone in need.
"If only there were more Mr. Dixons, more people willing to put others first, then maybe the neighborhoods we walk, the cities we wander and the world we live in would be a little safer.
"I would like to nominate Mr. Dixon for every 'employee/hero' award you might have; if you don't already have such an award in place I would suggest that there will never be a better time or a better person to recognize, commend and award.
"I will be forever grateful to Mr. Dixon, and I am entrusting my gratitude to you in the hopes that you might further recognize him."
Jerry Pack, Midwest Powerline Inc. director or operations, responded to Senter's request and said, "We are planning on recognizing this outstanding union lineman."
Pack also asked the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to recognize Dixon's heroic actions.
The dog's owner, Roshelle Mealing, 39, was cited for having a dangerous dog off premises. The dogs, one of which just had a litter of puppies, were impounded and quarantined for 10 days.
Source WYFF Chanel 4 Greenville SC