Governor Brad Henry presented the awards Wednesday to Bill Mathis and 11-year-old Christopher Bailey during a ceremony at the state Capitol.
Christopher was walking home from school with his 8-year-old sister Brittney and 6-year-old brother Aaron on May 9th when a pit bull started to attack. He stood between his sister and brother to protect them as the dog attacked.
Mathis then drove by and stopped to distract the dog until it could be contained.
Christopher is recovering from numerous bite wounds, surgery to reattach his calf muscles, stitches in his left knee and a sprained thumb.
His brother and sister were not seriously injured.
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Bailey said the owner of the dog who was standing across the street began to yell at the dog, but made no attempt to pull the dog off of the child.
“At that point, Bill (Mathis) happened to be driving by with his own children and saw the attack,” she said. “So he stopped and helped.”
… Mathis charged the animal and succeeded in getting it to momentarily break off its attack on Christopher. At that point, he said, the owner of the dog became concerned that Mathis would hurt her dog.
The attack marks the second reported pit bull attack on a child in the past year.
In October of 2004, a pit bull attacked 6-year old Noah Cross, at the home of a relative. The boy lost part of an ear, sustained fractured bones in his cheeks and an eye socket, and required a thousand stitches as a result of the attack.
Max Bailey [the kids’ father] said that he plans to try and get the city to pass laws concerning pit bulls so that what happened to his children will not have to happen to other kids.