German Shepherd Hank Hailed as Hero

MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. -- A man with a knife tried to get into a home in Lycoming County earlier this week. That was until the family's German Shepherd got involved.

Newswatch 16 spoke with the family from Montoursville on Thursday.

With military training, the family is well prepared to protect themselves and their home. In this case, their normally loveable German Shepherd named Hank also jumped in to help.

Some people just know their neighbors. Jerrod Heil from Montoursville says he looks out for his.

"If something is going on the kids are over here, messages are going back and forth, and that's the way everything should be," Heil said.

Earlier this week, a neighbor pushed her way into the home Heil shares with his fiancée Taylor Yeagle.

"She was absolutely yelling, 'help me, help me, help me!'" Yeagle recalled.

That neighbor lives next door with her son 41-year-old David Hill.

Police in Montoursville tell Newswatch 16 that Hill came home Tuesday night under the influence. His mother told him he needed to move out.

That's when Hill grabbed a large knife and chased her out of the house.

"She came down the sidewalk, around our sidewalk, and right up onto our porch," Yeagle said.

Yeagle was home alone with the couple's three children when the woman came in through the back door.

"I took her into our room and told her to stop screaming so he couldn't figure out which room she was in. I just hoped he didn't come into the house and I grabbed my gun and I waited," said Yeagle.

While the family was ready to protect their home, so was their dog Hank. The 2-year-old German Shepherd was outside and the family tells us Hank was the one who kept Hill from getting into the home.

"Most of the blood was right here and there's still a dark spot. You can see there is still 5 feet to the door so our dog never let him get as far as the door," Heil said.

Yeagle says her dog who was outside before bedtime was defending the house.

"He actually tripped him up. His self-inflicted wound wasn't an accident. It was because Hank tripped him up and he stabbed himself on his way down."

Police arrived within minutes and found Hill back in his own house.

"A tourniquet had been applied by a local police officer to stop the bleeding. Another 90 seconds he would have been dead," Heil said.

Hill is now locked up on charges including attempted homicide and aggravated assault.

As for this family, they're glad their neighbor is safe and that Hank was willing to help.

"You wonder what your dog would do. Would he protect or would he run and he did exactly what you're supposed to do; he protected her and he protected us," Yeagle said.

"It's a proud moment for sure," Heil added.

Hank was given plenty of hot dogs as a reward.

The couple's three children slept through the entire ordeal.

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