An elementary school crossing guard is set to be honored by the El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees. Michael Fierro saved a kindergartener and her mother from a dog attack a few weeks ago near Hillside Elementary School at 4500 Clifton Avenue in Central El Paso.
ABC-7 was there as mom and daughter thanked Fierro for his help last week. It was the first time Alicia Holguin and Fierro have talked since the dog attack.
"Everyday I go to the school and ask for him, and they tell me he's getting better," said Holguin.
"I got emotional," Fierro said as he described how he felt after seeing Holguin and her daughter Camila, 5.
As they hugged outside the school, Fierro crouched low to embrace the petite kindergartener.
"I remembered her being small," Fierro said. "But when I saw her right now and realized how small she really was, and what could have happened, thank God that didn't happen."
Fierro, a new assistant custodian and crossing guard at Hillside, put himself between Camila and an aggressive dog near the intersection of Clifton and Hardaway Street.
"All of a sudden, I heard a lot of screaming," Fierro said. He said he couldn't tell what was happening until he crossed the street and approached the Holguins. Then, "I saw the dog trying to get the little girl," he said.
Fierro said he grabbed the dog and pulled it into the yard of a nearby house, but the dog snapped at his safety vest and his clothing before finally biting his chest.
"As I fell, I put my arm down and it broke," said Fierro. "And that's when I realized I was in big trouble."
The dog also managed to sink its teeth into Fierro's right arm, which was wrapped in an ACE bandage.
"I was in serious pain. I was seeing black and blue," Fierro said."I thought I was going to pass out."
He managed to keep the dog from biting anyone else until back-up arrived.
His actions have earned Fierro a place in Holguin's heart.
"No one does that for a person you don't know," she said, adding, "He's my angel for my daughter."
The EPISD Board was planning to honor Fierro during their September meeting, but the district spokesman told ABC-7 the recognition will likely happen in October, since Fierro is still recovering from his injuries.
"I was a little surprised," said Fierro, when asked how he felt about the upcoming recognition. "I did what had to be done and if not, something would have happened to Camila or her mother."
ABC-7 confirmed with El Paso Animal Services that the dog was euthanized Friday, after no one claimed ownership.