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Elyria soccer coach saves players from vicious dog

Held the pit bull down until police arrived
Posted at 2:52 PM, Jul 07, 2016

A high school soccer coach in Elyria is being credited with keeping four of his players away from a violent pit bull.

Elyria Police said four teen boys were treated for scratches and dog bites on Wednesday morning while conditioning outside Elyria High School after a loose dog attacked them.

Police said soccer coach and Elyria High School assistant principal Brett Heighberger held down a large brown pit bull mix by the neck while sitting on the dog’s body, all in an attempt to keep the dog from charging his players.

“I’m just doing what I would normally do," Heighberger said. "I’m the assistant principal there. I’m the head coach. My job, my number one job, is to make sure the kids are taken care of and in a safe place."

One of the victim's parents, Dan Thrasher, called Heighberger's actions heroic.

"He kind of jumped into action, held the dog down," Thrasher said.

The owner has not been located.

“That’s called irresponsible dog owners and that’s a lot of times where the bad stories come from," Thrasher said.

All four players were treated by LifeCare and released at the scene, police said. Parents were notified. The dog was taken do the county dog kennel, under a 10-day quarantine. The dog could be euthanized if an owner does not come forward.

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