CHERRY HILL, N.J. — American Construction recently honored three local teens who rescued a 9-year-old girl from a dog attack in an area park, treating the young heroes to courtside seats for a Philadelphia 76ers game.
The roofing, siding and window company based in Cherry Hill, N.J. also made a $1,000 donation to the mother of the young girl to help offset medical expenses and other costs.
“As a family-owned business rooted in our local community, we wanted to do something special to recognize these three young men for their heroic efforts,” said Chris Bruner, who co-owns American Construction with his wife, Jessica Curro-Bruner, and their business partner Greg Dobkin. “Their quick action saved a little girl, and we thought it was important to show them how grateful the entire the community is for what they did.”
Jamel Alvarez, 17, and Billy Jackson, 18, both of Pennsauken, N.J. and Jason Marte, 19, of Camden, N.J. were driving by the park when they saw what they initially thought was a little girl playing with a dog.
However, they quickly realized the girl, Toni Diaz, was being attacked and could not escape.
Responding to Toni’s cries for help, the trio put their own safety aside, jumped out of the car and sprinted to her rescue. Together, they were able to pry the dog off the girl and race her to safety, putting her in their car and driving her to her aunt’s house nearby. She was then taken to the hospital where she received several stitches and was treated for multiple bites and scratches.
“As parents of young children, Chris and I were extremely moved that these young men put their own lives at risk to save this little girl,” Curro-Bruner said. “They are a reminder that there are good people in the world, and we wanted to recognize that.”
For their part, the teens say they didn’t think twice when they realized the little girl was in trouble, and while they are grateful for the recognition, it was not expected.
“When American Construction contacted us and offered to take us to a Sixers game, we were blown away,” Jackson said. “We just did what was right, but we are happy to be appreciated and are thankful to American Construction for the whole courtside experience.”
Erika Rivera, Toni’s mother, called the teens heroes and thanked American Construction for honoring them and for the $1,000 donation to help offset the cost of Toni’s medical care and other expenses.
“These teens saved my daughter’s life,” Rivera said. “I am grateful to American Construction for honoring them and incredibly appreciative of their generous donation, which was definitely a welcome surprise.”