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Detective Saves Woman from Dog Attack



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Every morning, Cara Emes takes her cocker mix Gus for a walk in her neighborhood. But what she experienced was something no pet owner ever wants to go through. A pitbull, seemingly out of nowhere she says, attacked Cara and her dog. A Good Samaritan, who happened to be a sheriff’s detective on his way to work, made the save.

It happened in a residential neighborhood Wednesday (May 10) near Shields & Temperance in East Central Fresno.

“It was racing across the street towards us,” Emes described when recounting the even to a group of media. “We were in a struggle for a while.  I was trying desperately to get this dog off my 30-pound dog. My dog was screaming. I was screaming for help. There weren’t any neighbors around. There was just no one around.”

Cara’s screams for help pierced the quiet of the morning.  A dog attack was an unusual occurrence in a normally quiet neighborhood. Things were looking bleak.

“I thought to myself that my dog was going to die in this moment,” Cara said, fighting back tears, “and I couldn’t stop it. I got bit and punctured a few times. I felt nothing because I’m trying to get this dog off my dog. I don’t know this dog seemed single focused and for whatever reason, seen my dog and lost it.

But this isn’t a story about dangers of any particular breed. Rather it is the serendipitous nature of this man, Fresno Sheriff’s Detective Jeff Stricker.

“Everything happens for a reason. Right place, right time,” says Stricker, who happened to be driving to work in the neighborhood and heard Emes screams for help. “Everyone says ‘where’s a cop when you need one?’ Well, there was one here.”

Stricker was able to pry the pitbull off Gus. A neighbor then provided rope to tie the pitbull up until Fresno police could arrive.

Stricker’s mere presence may have not been the only sign of fortune. Strickler used to be a dog handler prior to moving to Internal Affairs.

“That is why I felt comfortable coming up to the dog and handling it. I don’t know if other officers would have had that same training or felt comfortable to put hands on a dog like that,” Stricker said.

Cara suffered some cuts and scratches. The dog had to undergo surgery at the vet. The blood stains remain on Cara’s shirt. She isn’t sure if it is hers or Gus’s.  But she is thankful that a Stricker, who happened to be in the neighborhood on his way to work, was there.

Hours after the incident, Emes and Stricker met again when speaking to the media. Emes thanked Stricker with a big hug.

The pitbull is now in custody of the SPCA, where it will stay for 10 days before its fate is determined. No owner, if any, has come forward.

[author’s note: this is a personal story from me. The attack literally happened around the corner from where I live. I walk my own dog along that same street every day.]


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Contact David Taub

Phone: 559-492-4037 / e-mail

This story was not subject to the approval of Granville Homes.

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Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email