OKLAHOMA CITY – A dozen elementary students were taken to the hospital after a dog attacked the children while they were on an Oklahoma City school playground, according to KFOR.
Just before 1 p.m. on Monday, dispatchers received several 911 calls from teachers and administrators at Millard Fillmore Elementary School.
“We have a mad, out-of-control dog on our playground. It’s already bit a teacher and some kids, and we need somebody to come get the dog,” one caller told dispatchers.
Officials with the Oklahoma City Fire Department said there were 28 children and three teachers on the playground at the time of the attack.
In all, 12 students were taken to a hospital for treatment – nine for superficial bites and others for scrapes and bruises as children tried to run away from the dog.
“The dog came on and started to attack some of the kids, and then of course the kids began to scream and panic, which excited the dog and scared the dog even more, so his natural instinct was to keep biting and going after the kids,” said Capt. David Macy, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
The dog got into the school building, officials said, but a special education teacher managed to subdue it. Principal Susan Martin Rachels is now calling the teacher, identified as Lee Hughes, a hero.
At a press conference Monday, Hughes said he did not feel like a hero despite being praised as one.
“I had it pinned, and my arms locked around his head so he couldn’t move,” Hughes said. “Everybody did what they’re supposed to do.”
A police officer arrived after the dog, described as a brown and white pit bull mix, was tackled by Hughes and assisted. It’s unclear who it belongs to, Macy said.
On Tuesday, officials with the Oklahoma City Public School District announced that all students who were treated for injuries have been released from the hospital, and none suffered critical injuries.
District officials are now assessing security at the school. Crews have already repaired the fencing at Fillmore Elementary School, and added locks to the gates.
Authorities say security teams are currently doing a full assessment of fences and gates at all other district properties. They say they hope to be done by the end of the week.
The dog is currently in the custody of Oklahoma City Animal Welfare.