Guardsman rescues toddler from coyote
October 4, 2012
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- When Staff Sgt. John R. Muldowney saw Maddox Gonzales playing with a dog at the Mountain Post Car Wash near B Street Gate Sept. 24, he didn't think much of it. When he saw the dog bite the 3-year-old and drag him away from his parents, Muldowney reacted.
"I looked closer and I realized, no he's not playing and that's no dog. That's a coyote," he said.
Muldowney said he jumped in his car and tried to scare the animal. The coyote still had a hold of Maddox so Muldowney got out of his car to help the child.
"I jumped out and barked," he said.
The coyote let go of Maddox and ran away.
The event happened so fast, Maddox's parents said they barely had time to react.
"We were confused," said Amanda Gonzales, Maddox's mother. "We were at the car wash on post washing our car. Maddox was about 5-10 feet away. … Then we heard him screaming."
"He was trying to take me away," said Maddox, revealing tiny scratches on his right arm where the animal bit him.
"Sgt. Muldowney saw the coyote come up and grab Maddox," said Spc. Carwin Gonzales, Maddox's father. Carwin Gonzales, a Soldier with 247th Quartermaster Company, 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, said he and his wife took Maddox to the emergency room where Maddox was treated for the bite.
"It was scary and it could have been a lot worse," Amanda Gonzales said.
For his heroic actions, Muldowney, a Soldier with the Alaska National Guard living in Colorado Springs, was awarded an Army Commendation Medal, presented by Col. David Grosso, garrison commander.
"People are placed on this earth to do certain things at certain times," Grosso said. "Sgt. Muldowney was in the right place at the right time and he did the right thing. It's important to recognize our true heroes when it happens.