A young father has been being hailed a hero after he saved a child from a vicious PIT BULL attack by single-handedly fighting off the animal before placing the child on top of a car.
Security cameras caught the moment Patrick do Céu, 20, bravely fought off the dog as it mauled four-year-old Joao Pedro on the ground in Parque Anchieta, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on December 19.
The horrific scenes show the animal biting at the child's arms and legs, latching onto the boy's head and dragging him around on the ground in the ferocious assault.
Both victims suffered injuries that needed stitches.
During the footage, the pitbull is seen attacking the helpless little boy before Patrick, who was thinking of his own two-year-old daughter when he stepped in to save the child, races across to try to fight it off.
When the animal turns on the father-of-one, he puts the child on the roof of a car for safety before jumping on the vehicle himself.
He then attempts to get the dog to leave them alone by stamping his foot on its head.
Following the incident, Patrick, who was left with cuts to his legs and a hand, said he and Joao were forced to wait on top of the car for half an hour before help arrived.
Joao Pedro needed stitches to a neck wound and the owner of the dog, which had no chip, has yet to be identified.
The child's nanny told local media the animal appeared from nowhere and turned aggressive when it saw a group of youngsters playing on scooters.
Patrick said: 'I imagined my own daughter Lara on the ground. She's only two but she's around the same size.
'When I saw what was happening I got it into my head it was her and I acted on instinct.
'When I pulled the dog off it had its teeth in the boy's neck.'
'I don't consider myself a hero, far from it.'
A fundraising appeal is already underway on the Internet to raise money for a new phone for Patrick, whose mobile fell on the floor and broke while he and the youngster were being attacked. He has been out of work for the past five months.
It is not yet clear what future awaits the animal, which is being looked after by a local vet and will be kept under observation for most of the next fortnight.