CA: Bus Driver Praised for Helping Girl Escape Aggressive Dog

May 16--PINOLE -- A WestCAT bus driver is being called a hero for helping a teenage girl escape a loose pit bull, an agency spokeswoman said.

It all started when the pit bull -- later identified by authorities as Colt -- slipped off a leash at around 5 p.m. Wednesday, said Lt. Joe DeCosta of Contra Costa animal services. The owner, who also had a pit bull named Mama on a leash, struggled to control Colt, who began acting aggressively toward the frightened girl standing outside the Pinole library on Pinole Valley Road, authorities said.

That's when Craig Willis stopped his Route 16 bus, stood between the girl and Colt, and shooed the dog away, said Yvonne Morrow, WestCAT's marketing director.

The girl took refuge inside the library, and Willis went back to work. Library workers later called WestCAT to thank Willis for his bravery, Morrow said.

"He was scared to death," Morrow said. "He thought he was going to get killed but he couldn't think of anything else to do. He has children of his own."

Colt was returned to the dog owner while animal services continues its investigation.

David DeBolt covers breaking news. Contact him in Richmond at 510-262-2728. Follow him at

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