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Neighbor Saves 9-Year-Old Girl Attacked By Dogs In Eagle Mountain

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah – A 9-year-old girl suffered scratches and bruises after being attacked by two dogs and family members said things could have been much worse if a neighborhood hadn’t stepped in to protect the girl from the animals.

Officials with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said a large mastiff and wire terrier escaped their enclosure in the rural Eagle Mountain neighborhood Wednesday.

Chris Gricius just happened to be outside his home that afternoon.

“I just heard these blood-curdling screams,” he said.

His home surveillance cameras captured the whole encounter, including the dogs pulling the girl off of her bike.

“I ran as fast as I could from where I was in the garage down to where it was all happening,” Gricius said. “These two dogs were just viciously attacking her.”

The surveillance video showed the dogs back off the girl as he approaches.

However, Gricius said the dogs weren’t finished yet. A few minutes later, another child on a bike came around the corner and the dogs started chasing her.

“I grabbed one of the flags that was staked in the yard to use it as a weapon and I ran towards the dogs again,” he said. “Finally, this is when they took off into the field.”

The second child escaped injury, but the first girl wasn’t as lucky.

“There are quite a lot of scratches on her torso and it’s bruised really bad on her back,” said Rachel Clark, the girl’s mother. “She’s having a hard time lifting her left arm right now.”

Clark said it could have been much worse. Her daughter had a jacket on because of colder weather Wednesday and she said her daughter always wears a helmet.

“It felt like somebody pulled the rug out from under me and my heart sank and the worst-case scenario goes through your mind,” Clark said, through tears.

She is now trying to find the words to say thank you to the neighbor she now calls a hero.

“We are trying to think of a way to say thank you properly and it’s like, what do you give a guy who saves your kid?” Clark said. “There is nothing big enough for that. We’re just so thankful he was there. We can’t even express the gratitude we have for him.”

The dogs’ fate was unknown as of Friday evening. Both Clark and Gricius want to get the word out about properly securing animals. They said, in this case, the dogs escaped an enclosure and were loose for about an hour.