A mail carrier in Rock Hill, South Carolina, may have saved the life of a 7-year-old girl who was being attacked by a neighbor's pit bull.
Mark Pizzo, a U.S. Postal Service worker, was delivering mail in the small town near Charlotte, North Carolina, on Nov. 30 when he heard a loud shriek. When he looked out of his truck, he saw the screaming girl with her head gripped in the jaws of the pit bull, WBTV reported.
"The scream I will never forget for as long as I live," Pizzo told WBTV.
The mail carrier reportedly jumped out of his truck, ran to the scene, and hit the dog until it let go of the girl's head.
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"The dog had started to pull the child away from me so I knew the dog didn't want to let go," Pizzo said. "At that point I struck the dog until it let go of her."
Pizzo said that, after freeing the girl, he threw her onto a nearby trampoline to keep her safe from the dog.
To his horror, the pit bull quickly turned its attention from Pizzo back to the girl and tried to leap onto the trampoline.
At that point, a neighbor heard the commotion and came out to assist Pizzo. The two were able to finally subdue the dog.
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The girl was taken to the emergency room, where she received seven staples to her head. The pit bull was picked up by York County Animal Control and euthanized.
Pizzo received an award for his heroic actions on Dec. 8.
The postal worker told WBTV that the most important thing to him was that the young girl was saved from further harm.
"Some people say I saved her life, but do I know that?" Pizzo said. "I stopped the situation from what was happening. That's all that mattered to me."
He added that postal workers carry dog spray and go through detailed training on how to handle unruly dogs.
"I've been bit before," he told WBTV. "I'm a mailman. It's part of the job."
Accoring to USPS statistics, 5,767 postal workers were attacked by dogs in 2014. In that year, 23 attacks occurred in Charlotte, North Carolina.