Dog attack victim thanks officer who helped save his life

A Dallas man who lost his arm after being attacked by dogs last month got to thank the police officer who saved him.

Ferris Police Officer J. Deleon lives down the street from Ronnie Bell. He was one of the first to arrive and immediately begin first aid after the June 16 attack in southwest Dallas.

Bell continues to get better every day. On Tuesday, he got to thank Officer Deleon in person.

It’s been more than six weeks since Bell and Officer Deleon have seen each other. Deleon was asleep in his home when a neighbor came knocking frantically at his door.

“I poked my head out the door and saw somebody lying in the ditch,” Deleon recalled. “At that point, I didn’t know it was Ronnie.”

Bell had been walking home from a convenience store when he was attacked by four dogs.

“If he’d got there a minute or two later, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Bell said.

Bell had dozens of bite wounds all over his body. A portion of his arm was missing when the officer found him.

Deleon told a neighbor to get him a belt while he tried to keep Ronnie talking.

“I was able to use that as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding and placed it on his arm,” the officer recalled. “Luckily, Dallas Fire-Rescue showed up within five minutes.”

Dallas Animal Services says the dogs got out of their owner’s yard through an open gate. They were surrendered and put down. The owner was cited but not charged.

Bell spent weeks in the hospital. Finally, doctors decided they had to amputate his arm to save his life. But it was officer Deleon’s actions that even made it an option.

Since coming home two weeks ago, Bell has been putting on weight. The stitches come out next week. He’s hoping to get a prosthetic arm soon.