WILLISTON — When a group of dogs attacked a woman and young children, Jeremy Dawson did what he says anyone would do; he jumped in to help. Putting his own safety on the line, Dawson kept the attack from becoming potentially worse, and his quick thinking and selfless efforts have now been recognized by the city of Williston.
Four people were injured July 1 when they were attacked by dogs near Rickard Elementary, according to the Williston police.
Two adults and two juveniles were hurt in the attack. A person called the police to report that the four were injured when they were bitten by a group of dogs, Sgt. Detective Danielle Hendricks said.
In a last minute change to the agenda on Tuesday, Mayor Howard Klug called for a motion among the assembled commissioners to give a public thanks to Dawson at the Williston City Commission meeting.
“A lot of people in town have talked about an incident that happened with a dog attack last week,” Klug said to the commission. “While there are some rumors, while there’s some no-so-true things said, the main thing is the we’ve got a hero among us.”
Klug asked Dawson to approach the podium, where he then thanked him for his actions during the ordeal.
“On behalf of the city of Williston, we want to thank you for saving the lives of our children,” Klug told Dawson. “Your actions, without hesitation, was amazing. And it came from the heart.”
Klug then asked Dawson to recount the incident, telling the commissioners and those present the circumstances of how he came to intervene in the attack. Choking back tears, Dawson spoke about his reactions upon hearing the cries for help, and how he didn’t give much thought to acting, just immediately springing into action.
“We’re all family, we all got kids, you know,” Dawson began, his voice cracking. “When I got out of the door of that truck and could hear the kid screaming, my instincts were as a father to go help this kid.”
Visibly emotion and wiping tears away as he spoke, Dawson spoke of the attack, and how his concern was not for himself, but to ensure that the kids were safe.
Dawson also pointed out that the praise did not belong to him alone, but to the individuals that also came to help.
“Without them, it could have been really bad,” he said. “I just tried to do what anyone else would do.”
Dawson added how in the aftermath, he was moved at how much his friends, neighbors and community have come together to support those involved.
“We’ve got a lot of good people in this town.” he told the commission.
After an investigation, police charged Jason Larson with multiple violations, Hendricks said.
He was charged with five counts each of having a pitbull within city limits and of having an animal with no rabies vaccine.
He was also charged with one count each of running a kennel without a license and having a vicious animal.