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Moundsville Man Honored For His Heroic Actions

Photo by Alan Olson Jose Castro is given a certificate of recognition from Moundsville city council. Pictured from left are city manager Rick Healy, Castro, Councilman Phil Remke and Mayor David Wood, right.

MOUNDSVILLE — A local man was lauded by friends and city officials for throwing himself into harm’s way to save a woman who was being attacked by dogs.

Jose Castro was given a certificate of recognition from Moundsville City Council at Tuesday’s meeting. Councilman Phil Remke, who approached council with the suggestion, described Castro’s efforts as “valiant” when introducing him to council.

Remke said the attack took place several weeks ago, when a woman was attacked by dogs in the city. Castro, who was passing by, threw himself between the woman and the dogs, enduring several wounds himself. The woman was later airlifted by medical helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. Though the woman was not identified at the meeting, some people present in the audience said reports of her condition afterward were varied, and may include debilitating injuries.

“To have a citizen like Jose in our town, who (risked) his life for the cause, I’d like to recognize him with an award from the city, for the brilliant and brave person that he is,” Remke said.

Police Chief Tom Mitchell spoke highly of Castro, describing him as among the bravest men he’s encountered in his long career.

“I’ve been a policeman 35 years, and that’s probably the greatest I’ve ever seen someone do,” Mitchell said. “(A passing) mailman said it looked like something you’d see on safari, with lions going at her. He dove in there and saved her, and if he hadn’t, God knows what would have happened.”

Castro described the dog attack, and said it was only a stroke of luck that he came away from the attack as intact as he did.

“The dogs were taking turns taking bites at her, bites out of her arm, bit her in the leg, bit her in the face,” Castro said. “I yelled, screamed at the dogs, “Stop! Stop! Stop!’ and jumped on her. … I got lucky, because I think I could have been right next to her (on the flight to Ruby).

“I feel like I had to do something. I’m 59 years old, I ain’t never seen anything like that before in my life. To see animals who are supposed to be our friends turn on her like that, I’ve never seen that before.”

Moundsville police Sgt. Steve Kosek later provided more details on the dog attack. According to police records, the victim was attacked by two dogs around 1:40 p.m. July 14, while visiting a residence on the 600 block of Second Street. While the woman was walking away with an armful of groceries, the dogs broke through a screen door and began attacking her, repeatedly biting her face, forearms, and back.

The owner of the dogs surrendered the animals to the Marshall County Animal Shelter, where they were euthanized.

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