Man Mauled by Pit Bulls Reunited With Hero Cop Who Rescued Him - NBC Southern California

Man Mauled by Pit Bulls Reunited With Hero Cop Who Rescued Him

A morning walk turned into a brush with death for a retired fire chief

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Pit Bull Attack Victim Thanks Rescuer

    Former Compton fire chief Milford Fonza thought he was going to die until Officer Matt Fenner arrived on Monday and stopped the attack by two pit bulls. (Published Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011)

    A Glendora police officer was reunited Thursday with a man he saved from a vicious pit-bull attack.

    "Thank you, thank you so much for saving my life," said 67-year-old Milford Fonza, who was attacked while on his daily walk Monday.

    "No problem," said Glendora Police Officer Matt Fenner.

    Fenner was at the end of his shift, at 4 a.m. Monday, when he spotted a bloody struggle between Fonza and two dogs.

    "I saw someone needing help and I stepped up and I helped them," Fenner said. "I saw Mr. Fonza grab the wall in an attempt to get away. The dog pulled him off. At that point, I made the decision I was not going to let that dog bite him again if I could help it."

    Fenner rammed one dog with his patrol car. He then shot and killed the other after it turned on him.

    "I just thank God that Officer Fenner was there to save my life. I knew if I didn't get help, I was going to die. I was at the end of my rope. My arm was broke. I was bleeding profusely. I had no more strength," said Fonza, a retired Compton fire chief.

    "I've been in many situations, many fires, burning buildings, brush fires, never been in anything that was more horrifying than the incident I had on Monday," said Fonza.

    "Feels good to see him and he looks a lot better today," said Fenner.

    Fonza's daughter fought back tears and called Fenner a hero as she handed him a bouquet of flowers.

    The Glendora Police Department gave the retired fire chief a new walking stick. Fonza is still recovering from a broken shoulder and several deep bites on his body.

    Glendora police believe they've located the owner of the dogs that attacked Fonza. The person is cooperating with police.

    The owner was unaware the dogs had gotten out and had reported them missing.

    Some Glendora officers have asked the chief to redefine the term "pit maneuver." The suggestion brought some humor to a frightening event.

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