Teen, man who intervened share story of Santaquin parking lot dog attack
SANTAQUIN, Utah — A day after a dog attack in a grocery store parking lot, the attacked teenager said she was caught by surprise and suffered bites to her arms and legs.
Seanna Hooper, 16, said she was leaving work at the Santaquin Macey’s at approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday and was on the way out to her truck when three pit bulls suddenly surrounded her.
“They just started circling around me,” Hooper said in an interview with KSL TV. “I was like, ‘You know what, it’s fine, they probably just want to say hi.’”
Hooper said that’s when one of the pit bulls began acting aggressively toward her.
“She started getting rougher and rougher with it, so I was like, ‘That’s not playing!’” Hooper recalled.
Hooper said the dog first started biting at her fingertips.
“Then she grabbed my arm,” the teen said. “Then she got this leg, and this is where her teeth sunk in it.”
Hooper said she screamed to get others’ attention.
As she did and others began to help her inside, Dillon Barber said he headed toward the commotion.
“Right when I looked is when the dog actually jumped and bit the girl,” Barber told KSL TV.
Barber said the dogs were still acting wild. He said one dog attempted to jump inside another man’s truck.
“This dog made it in the guy’s truck, and he had to push it out the window,” Barber recalled.
Barber had a gun and said he drew it when two of the pit bulls started to advance on him.
“I back-pedaled about 10 feet, and that’s when it began to lunge at me and tried to bite me, and that’s when I decided to stop the dog,” Barber said.
The ordeal drew a response from Santaquin Police, who cited the deceased dog’s owner.
According to investigators, the owner of the dogs was inside the store and had left them in his car with the windows partially down.
“It is unfortunate because I understand there’s this conception about pit bulls — that they’re nasty, terrible, fighting dogs — but in this case, unfortunately, they were,” Barber said. “The fact that the dogs are that aggressive and they’re even in public is pretty alarming.”
The girl’s family shared pictures with KSL TV of the bite marks and puncture wounds on the leg.
“It’ll just take its time to heal, and she went and got rabies vaccinations and stuff today just as a protectant,” said the 16-year-old’s mother, Angela Hooper.
She thanked Barber for coming to her daughter’s aid, urged other dog owners to ensure their pets are properly secured and encouraged everyone to keep an eye on their surroundings.
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