Robyn Handley

On Dec. 22, 2020, a 72-year-old woman was out for a walk in a Florissant, Missouri, neighborhood, when four pit bull dogs attacked her on a sidewalk. The dogs knocked her to the ground, mauled her, bit into her body and limbs, and tore off parts of her scalp. Several houses away across the street, assembly worker Robyn Handley, 64, of Florissant, heard the woman’s screams and ran barefoot about 150 feet to the woman. She advanced quickly, waved her arms, and shouted at the dogs as they continued to attack the woman. Handley shielded the woman with her own body as the dogs eventually dispersed, circling in a yard nearby, and she yelled for help. A second woman, 67, heard the screams for help and was approaching the scene from the opposite direction when she was immediately attacked by the dogs. She was knocked to the ground and the dogs began to bite her legs. Handley moved away from the first woman and advanced on the group of dogs again, waving her arms and driving the dogs away. The attack ended when one dog ran off and the others followed. With all the dogs dispersed, another neighbor arrived and loaded the severely injured first woman into his car to await medics. The first woman suffered extensive wounds to her scalp, severe damage to her eye and face, and deep leg wounds. She underwent multiple surgeries and continues to recover. The second woman was also treated for bite wounds to her legs. Handley suffered no injury during the incident. The dogs attacked two other people in another neighborhood. Eventually one dog was hit by a car and killed and the other three dogs were secured and euthanized.