In the small desert town of North Edwards in eastern Kern County, a 3-year-old boy is recovering tonight after being nearly mauled to death by a dog. It was a horrible scene. But everyone, including law enforcement, agrees it would have been so much worse, had it not been for the man who stopped everything to save the toddler’s life.
It started out like any other day for Dwayne Pressley, hanging out with friends in his North Edwards neighborhood.
“We just heard a noise so we went outside..next thing we know he looked in the yard and he said hey there’s a little kid over there and a dog, a little blonde kid”, said Dwayne.
Dwayne’s friend pointed to a home where a 3 year old had fallen from a window and into the dog pen, where the family’s pitbull viciously attacked the boy.
Dwayne said he had no time to think. He ran towards the yard and ripped down the chain link fence and ripped the boy from the dog’s grip.
“Come hell or high water that child needs help, that’s all I knew”, said Dwayne.
“I thought he was dead. He was sitting there in a crouched position covering his eye.”
Dwayne managed to fight off the dog. He saved the boy’s life, but the damage to the toddler was severe
“It exposed his eye back to the cheekbone…the dog had already had the side of his face eaten, and it was horrific for me but I had to overcome it and do what I had to do and put the child in my arms and protect him from the dog. It was a reaction anyone would’ve done”, said Dwayne.
When KCSO arrived on scene, they found the child’s mother was asleep during the attack.
“During the course of the investigation there was a lot of things in the house that were hazardous not safe to be living in. There was an 8 month old that was at the house so Child Protective Services responded and took the second child into custody”, said Sergeant Michael Dorkan of the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.
Animal control also responded and took the dog who attacked the boy.
Though there were others who witnessed the attack and were too frightened to intervene, Dwayne says he does not view his actions as heroic. He fights back tears as he explains he just did what he had to do.
“Children are supposed to be protected, I don’t care what you have to do in life. Them children come first. No matter what. Drop what you’re doing. Them children come first.”
The toddler was air lifted to the hospital with severe injuries, but is expected to survive.
The little boy’s parents who are also the dog owners were both arrested for felony child endangerment.
We spoke to the little boy’s father in a jail house interview this afternoon.
“I went to work at 11 yesterday morning and I come home to my kid, everyone telling me my kid got messed up by a dog and Kern County Sheriffs at my house. I’m getting put in cuffs and I didn’t understand why. I’m there part time. Sometimes I’m there, when we’re fighting I leave for 4-5 days. But I can take the responsibility now. I see what Kern County (sheriffs) is saying. I should’ve gotten up and did something. If I saw the house was a wreck I should’ve gotten up and cleaned it”, said Nathan Alvey, the boy’s father and owner of the dog.
We asked if he had a message for Dwayne, the neighbor who saved his son. Alvey says he’d like Dwayne to know he’s thankful.