Dog mauling victim meets firefighters who rescued him


The last time firefighters with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District saw Hunter they were responding to a pit bull attack.

One or two of his neighbors' dogs ripped the 10-year-old boy's face last month. He spent nine days in the hospital and has had two surgeries including a skin graft. Monday, Hunter and his family dropped by the firehouse to say thank you.

When we asked Hunter what he remembers about the firefighters from that day, Hunter replied, "They helped me out like a ton. So I'm just happy that they came."

He brought them a gift of red vines. They gave him Legos to build fire trucks.

"It reminds me why I do this job and we're real happy to see him doing well," said Contra Costa Fire Capt. Eddie Gonzales.

The firefighters say reunions like this with people they rescue don't happen very often.

"We kind of get to close a loop and the healing process can begin, not just for him, but for some of the things we see," said Contra Costa firefighter Tim Gleeson.

The visit included a VIP tour of the station and a ride around the block on a rig. Hunter is back in fourth grade part time while he heals, both physically and emotionally. The pit bulls are in county custody and may be put down.

"That dog is not a nice dog. I've been having bad dreams," said Hunter.

"We love you, we're glad you're OK. You're awesome, you're one strong kid," said firefighter Mike Boehmer as he gave Hunter a hug.

The owners of the pit bulls are fighting to save their dogs. A hearing is tentatively scheduled at Antioch City Hall for next week.

Copyright © 2023 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.