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Lodi man saves Lockeford mom, son from dog attack

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Posted: Saturday, December 24, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:35 am, Sat Dec 24, 2011.

A Lockeford mother says she and her son were saved from a vicious dog mauling this week by the quick actions of a Lodi man who stopped to intervene.

Heather Karavidas and her son, Nicholas, 9, were strolling with their 1-year old German shepherd, Luther, near the Lockeford Grange building on Tuesday morning.

Suddenly, a large German shepherd bounded from the back of a pick-up truck. For a moment, the animal thrashed as it was suspended by its leash and collar.

"I thought the dog was going to break its neck," Karavidas said, as she stood in her front yard surrounded by her two children and three dogs on Friday.

When the dog finally freed itself from the collar, it sped across Highway 88 directly at Heather, Nicholas and Luther.

When the dog reached them, Luther tried to protect his owners.

"I just didn't know how we were going to separate the dogs," Karavidas said.

As the scene unfolded, Brad Burrell drove down Highway 88 on his way to LangeTwins Winery for work.

"I rolled up and saw this dog sort of wriggling about and then I got out of the truck and then that same dog whipped right past me, headed straight for the mom and the kid," Burrell said.

Burrell then stepped in to break up the fight between the dogs.

"I was prepared to kick the hell out of the dog if I had to," Burrell said.

Burrell grabbed Luther's leash and pulled the dogs apart, keeping them separated until the dogs calmed down.

He also told Nicholas Karavidas to get in his truck for safety.

"He took the time out of his day to break up a dog fight and keep my son from being mauled," said Karavidas.

While keeping the dogs at bay, Burrell saw a woman leaving a restaurant and making her way toward the truck from which the dog leapt. He shouted out to the woman, saying her dog tried to viciously attack the mother and child.

According to Karavidas, the woman simply said the dog had never done that before, apologized and quickly returned to her truck with the dog and sped off.

As she stood with her family outside of her Lockeford home on Friday, petting Luther, Heather was feeling lucky that they had all escaped the attack unharmed.

"I'm just glad the man stopped to help," she said.

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com and Chief Photographer Dan Evans at dane@lodinews.com.

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  • Deborah Kirkland-Edson posted at 6:26 am on Mon, Dec 26, 2011.

    kirky07 Posts: 1

    Obviously I wasn't there however I have a feeling that perhaps the dog was going to attack Ms. Karavidas' dog and not her and her son and of course the media would pick up on this story and blow it way out of proportion as usual. I'm not downplaying what actually happened, it's certainly very terrifying when a strange dog charges at your direction, been there, done that. It was also very brave and very wonderful of Mr. Burrell to stop and help the way he did but it was very apparent in the story that it was dog aggressive, he wasn't looking to attack the people. Once again, irresponsible media reporting of a story will begin the condemnation of yet another breed of dog, this time however it will be the second time around for this breed on isolated incidents being reported.

  • Chet Diestel posted at 9:58 am on Sat, Dec 24, 2011.

    Chet Diestel Posts: 4

    In reading the story, had to wonder if it just ended with the people standing there watching the woman and dog ride off down the road or was the incident reported to the cops. It left this reader waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.
    Certainly hope the cops were called and someone got the truck's license number. If a dog attacks like the one described, it is likely to do it again and this time a person or animal could be seriously injured or killed.
    If the attacking dog was licensed then even a description of the truck would allow police to cross check those in the area who owned such a truck and also have been issued a dog license. Additionally, in Lockeford many patrons at restaurants are regulars so a check there might well have produced a name.
    Finally, congratulations to Mr. Burrell who rushed to the family's aid at great risk to himself for that dog might have turned its fury on him. He is not only a good man but a very brave one as well.



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