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Pit bulls no match for hometown hero

“I don’t consider myself a hero,” says Rock Hill, S.C., resident Tim Walling.

But to the elderly couple he saved from being torn apart by pit bulls, Walling is both hero and Good Samaritan.

According to a report from Rock Hill Herald columnist Andrew Dys, Walling was driving home from work earlier this month, when he saw two dogs attacking an elderly couple. The woman was screaming, holding a pair of smaller dogs the couple had been out walking. The man was already bitten once and trying to fend off the barking beasts.

But unlike other motorists in the rush hour traffic, who passed by the scene on the other side of the street, Walling spun his pickup around, drove up onto the sidewalk and jumped into the fray.

“A bunch of other drivers saw it too. They must have,” Dys comments. “It happened on the sidewalk and in a parking lot of an apartment complex on a busy city street, near an intersection with other busy city streets.”

Walling had no weapons, not even a stick or shovel, but ran yelling at the dogs and swinging his arms wildly.

“The dogs were lunging at them, jumping at them,” Walling explained afterward. “They were at least pit bull mixes, if not full-breed pit bulls. The lady was hysterical. She was so scared she couldn’t move.”

Walling was able to back the dogs up into a stairway, but then had to plant himself on the stairs to protect the couple from the raging animals.

“I just figured that the only way to keep those dogs from that couple – the lady had her tiny dogs in her arms the whole time – was me,” Walling said.

Still howling and screaming and flailing his arms, Walling was able to back the dogs further up the stairway until they turned tail and retreated to their owner’s apartment.

Andrew Jorgensen, 78, and his wife, Thelma “Tee” Carlile, 68, told Dys that Walling was the only driver among dozens who dared stop to help.

“This man just stopped and risked his own safety – for us,” said Jorgensen.

“Tim Walling is truly one in a million,” Carlile said. “It could have been much worse if it wasn’t for him.”

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The dogs gone, Walling remained with the couple and called 911. He stayed until police arrived and York County Animal Control knew the location of the dogs.

According to the police report from the incident, the dogs’ owner was cited by animal control.

Dys further reports the couple was so moved by Walling’s “heroics” that Carlile wrote a letter to the county’s road maintenance department, where Walling is employed.

“If there were more people like him in the world, it would be a much better place,” the letter states.

Walling, however, has deflected praise.

“Sometimes you just know what the right thing to do is, and you do it,” he said.