Good Samaritan saves Bronx kids from pit bull attack

Dray Clark reports on the little girl who just turned 9, who got attacked by a pit bull. (WABC)
May 8, 2014 9:38:46 AM PDT
A Good Samaritan sprang into action to save a little girl and a baby from a pit bull attack Wednesday inside a Bronx apartment building.

The incident happened around 3 p.m., as Dara Grillo was returning to her Roberts Avenue home with her 8-year old daughter, Isabella Tropea, and 10-month-old son, who was in a stroller. She had a friend with her, who had a 9-month-old in a different stroller.

As Isabella held the door to the building vestibule open for the strollers, a dog, frothing at the mouth, came bounding down the stairs and bit her on the face.

"I thought I was gonna get eaten," Isabella said. "And it was really scary, because I never got bit by a dog."

Now, Isabella has the scars and stitches to prove she's a fighter.

"I was holding the door and it came for me," she said. "First, I kicked the dog to take it back, and then it got my face."

She managed to fend off the dog, but it lunged at her brother, who was being held by his mother.

Thankfully, George Steinberg was nearby and jumped in to prevent a tragedy.

"I saw that dog jump on that baby with the mother holding it, and I just took three, four steps in that direction and the dog just came for me," he said. "Somehow, he got the best of me, and I fell. And as I'm falling, he bit this baby. I said 'oh my God,' as I'm falling, and I'm now in the back. He took my thumb, and I'm still fighting this stupid dog."

The dog's owner is also the building's super, Frankie Rugova, whose sister eventually ran outside and was able to corral the dog.

Now home from Jacobi Hospital just in time for her ninth birthday, Isabella is just happy their savior was in the right place at the right time.

"I feel really, really thankful because the man saved our lives," she said.

Grillo said she was relieved Steinberg was there.

"If he wasn't, we would have been done," she said.

Steinberg is not looking for praise, though.

"I just did what I thought was the right thing to do," he said.

Police took the dog away, and Rugova declined to comment. Neighbors say the dog is regularly vicious and requires a muzzle while going on walks.

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