Reported By Joseph Pleasant, Reporter - bio | email
Da'Marquion "Shaggy" Gaines was seriously injured in the attack.
Kemonte Knox helped save his friend from the attack on Friday morning.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -
A Murfreesboro boy is being called a hero after beating an attacking pit bull off his friend Friday morning.
According to police, Da'Marquion "Shaggy" Gaines was walking to the bus stop in the 2000 block of Lynch Drive when he walked onto a yard to pet the dog.
The dog was leashed in the yard and growled at the boy, according to witnesses. Gaines approached the dog anyway and was bitten in the face.
"We were just walking and whenever we passed the boat he was walking up to [the dog] and he was petting it," Kemonte Knox said. "When he petted it, the dog ran around the tree and kind of got off the leash and jumped on him."
Knox continued, "I got the stick I started hitting it and then Shaggy got up and walked off."
Gaines was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville for his injuries. He has since been released, but is expected to undergo surgery next week.
"I was just in shock because he was like, ‘Mom, the dog has got Shaggy' and I said, ‘what dog?'" Knox's mother Angel Knox recalled.
She continued, "As soon as I looked out the door, [Shaggy] was coming down the street and there was blood everywhere. He was in shock and couldn't talk."
The dog, named Chop, was placed in the care of Rutherford County's Pet Adoption and Welfare Services, or PAWS, following the incident.
Owner Shawn Vilayvanh told Nashville's News 2 the dog is a rescue.
"One of our friends just left his dog there to die so [my cousin and I] took him," Vilayvanh said. "We walk him around the neighborhood and stuff and the kids down there, the one that got bit, would pet him and stuff."
Vilayvanh said the dog would typically be leashed in the backyard of the home, but an exterminator was going to be working in the back yard so the family decided to leash the dog in the front yard.
He said he plans to pay the fee to get his dog back.
Gaines' mother told Nashville's News 2 by phone that her son is facing reconstructive surgery next week and is unable to attend school.
She said her son, who turned 12 on Saturday, is recovering at home and will be home schooled until doctors say he can return to Christiana Middle School.
Vilayvanh said he has until August 27 to pay the fees required to get his dog back from animal control officials.
If he does not, the dog will be euthanized.
"I don't want him to die," he said. "I have taken care of him for two years now. He is a good dog."
Knox and his mother are glad the dog did not kill Gaines during the attack.
"I am happy that he wasn't too scared and that he could fight the dog off of [Gaines]," Knox said. "It probably could have killed him."
Rutherford County PAWS did not immediately return Nashville's News 2's calls for comment on the case.
Neither Vilayvanh nor his cousin was cited by police in connection with the dog bite.
He said if he can get his dog back he will keep it inside an enclosure in his back yard.