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(Neb)-City Honors Men For Saving Pit Bull Victim  Listen

By: John Axtell Posted at: 04/18/2017 06:46 PM
Chuck Gartner, John Coates, David Nelson - photo Kerri Rempp

CHADRON - The city of Chadron last night honored two private citizens for coming to the rescue of a woman being attacked by 5 pit bulls a week ago Friday on a city street. Dave Nelson and Chuck Gartner were each presented with a special police department Certificate of Valor by Chief Tim Lordino in a ceremony during the city council meeting

        Before the actual presentation, Chief Lordino recounted the entire incident...which began with Gartner and Nelson both spotting the attack as they drove on West 2nd Street, Nelson in his WESTCO fuel truck and Gartner in a flatbed pickup preparing to meet two out-of-state turkey hunters.

      Gartner made the first attempt to reach Bairn, but said he was turned back by the attacking pit bulls. Just as he reached his pickup, Nelson jumped down from his truck and began running at the dogs, yelling and hitting them with pepper spray, which he uses for protection from dogs when making deliveries.

       The dogs turned and chased Nelson, who reached the cab of his truck safely, although he had to kick the dogs several times before he could get the door closed  His distraction allowed Bairn to reach Gartner's pickup and get in.

      Gartner took Bairn to the hospital, but says the entire incident was absolutely frightening, like watching a real-life war movie, and that he doesn't consider himself a hero.


Both Nelson and Gartner say they acted by instinct and unintentionally coordinated their efforts, allowing Bairn to be rescued...although Nelson said he didn't know until after the dogs had left the scene and he was being interviewed by police they'd been successful.

      The rescue ended the two men's part in the incident. Police officers began arriving as they were safely in their respective trucks, with officer tazing a dog and another fighting them off with his collapsible baton. Additional help arrived, 3 dogs were safely tranquilized by darts and all 5 captured.

      Mayor John Coates praised all those involved in the rescue and capture, then at the end of the council meeting said he thought a higher power was involved in the outcome.

     As for the pit bulls, Chief Lordino says all 5 were euthanized Monday. Their owner still faces multiple citations for dogs running loose, unlicensed and unvaccinated dogs, and have more than the 3 allowed without a kennel license.


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