BODY CAM: Sierra Vista Officers save nine-year-old during dog attack

Body cameras reveal officers' heroic action

SIERRA VISTA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Footage from officers' body cameras shows the quick actions to save a nine-year-old being attacked by large dogs in his gated yard last month.

Through a public records request, Tucson News Now obtained footage from cameras worn by four of the eleven Sierra Vista Police Officers who responded to the home on the evening of September 26, 2018.

A call to 911, also obtained through a public records request, shared the frantic call for help by a bike rider who saw the attack through the large gate on the private property.

“We were biking by, and there’s like a guy in his yard being attacked by these dogs, I don’t know what’s happening," the man told the dispatcher.

One officer’s body camera started recording as a taser was deployed over the tall gate at the home off Oriole Drive and El Camino Real. In the footage, very hard to watch at some moments, you can hear the boy screaming and several dogs barking.

“Get the pepper spray," can be heard on the footage from one officer to another. “I got it, spray those dogs.. spray 'em."

Sergeant Brian Sebastian, Spokesman for the Sierra Vista Police Department, said one officer deployed two taser cartridges, getting two of the three large, mastiff-style dogs away from the boy. In the following seconds, two officers shared concerns on getting the nine-year-old to safety.

“Patient is still moving, medics won’t be able to get to her right now, we got to control the dogs," one officer said over a radio, as another requests to make a call to get to the boy.

“Permission to shoot these three dogs, so we can get to the patient," he said. Seconds later, there are four rounds of shots. Officers then climb the gate and open it to get the wounded boy.

The boy told officers the dogs started attacking him when he went to let them out. The officers carried him out of the yard and onto the driveway, as they wait for paramedics.

The young boy told officers the dogs ripped his clothes off. He said his mom was out of town and his dad was at work at the time of the attack. He also told officers the dogs were “his dad’s dogs” and that they protect the home.

A total of 17 shots were fired, nine from pistols and eight from rifles. Sgt. Sebastian said the three dogs involved in the attack were killed. A fourth dog was shot and killed within the yard when it appeared to charge at an officer.

“They got there quickly, they made timely, courageous decisions. We think that both that citizen passing by and our officers arriving quickly probably saved this child’s life," Sgt. Sebastian said during an interview last month.

The boy, who was severely bitten, was transported to a local hospital in stable condition. As of last week, Sgt. Sebastian said it was assumed the boy had been released from the hospital.

The Sierra Vista Special Operations Bureau and child services were investigating the incident and Sgt. Sebastian said the department would not be releasing any more details at this time.

We were told if charges are filed, it would be through the Cochise County Attorney’s Office. We are waiting to hear back from County Attorney Brian McIntyre.

According to the Sierra Vista Animal Control Code, there is not a limit on how many animals someone can have at their home, but those animals must be licensed. At the time of the attack, Sgt. Sebastian said it appeared all the dogs on the property did have proper registration.

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