Boy, 11, honored for saving 4-year-old from pit bull attack
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Aug. 3, 2005 -- For 11-year-old Dereck Hatley, July 16 was just another Saturday until his companion, Anthony Daley, was attacked by a pit bull terrier.

Without hesitation, Dereck rescued his 4-year-old friend from the attacking dog and carried him home.

The young hero’s actions were recognized Tuesday evening by members of the Sulphur Springs City Council, who issued a proclamation declaring Wednesday, Aug. 3, as Dereck Hatley Day in the city.

In recognizing young Hatley for his life-saving efforts, Mayor Clay Walker said the actions averted what could have been a tragedy in the city.

“A catastrophe was avoided because of Dereck Hatley’s quick response to danger,” the mayor said. “He and Anthony were playing with a dog when a stray pit bull dog attacked and bit Anthony Daley. Dereck quickly carried Anthony all the way home while being chased by the pit bull dog.”

According to Hatley’s mother, Michelle Hall, Anthony was running when the pit bull started after him and pulled him to the ground, biting the boy’s legs. Dereck ran over and kicked the dog off of Anthony, then picked up the younger boy and ran inside.

Anthony Daley required 10 stitches to close his wounds, according to Hall, who added, “If it were not for Dereck, Tony could have sustained worse injuries.”

Along with Anthony Daley, the Sulphur Springs council room was filled with friends and family who helped the mayor recognize the young man whose “courageous act in averting what could have been a tragic incident or loss to family, friends and community was an act of heroism that deserves special recognition.”

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