BISHOPVILLE, SC (WIS) - A Bishopville police officer who was violently attacked by a dog Tuesday evening is out of the hospital and expects to be back at work in a month.
Police Chief Sonny Ledda says officer Josh Kelly dropped by the office Thursday morning and told officials that he is looking forward to returning to work soon after he fully recovers from the traumatic, wince-inducing injury to his groin.
Ledda said Kelly was attacked around 11 p.m. near the Lynches River Apartments on Academy Road. City officials say the officer was in the area checking on a suspected drug deal when he stopped his vehicle on Academy Road and got out on foot patrol.
Kelly drove himself to a Hartsville hospital shortly after the incident.
"I got ready. I went over to the hospital. I met with his fiancee and his father who were there already," said Ledda. "By the time I got there, we were all told by the surgeon he would be undergoing surgery.
Because his injuries were so severe, medical personnel decided Kelly should be airlifted to a Columbia area trauma hospital where he underwent several hours of surgery.
"For one trauma center to refer him to another trauma center, especially via helicopter, I knew it was a pretty traumatic event," said Ledda.
The chief credited Kelly's military training for helping him survive the attack and expediting medical treatment to save his own life.
DHEC investigators were back on the scene Wednesday, trying to find the dog and to make every effort to determine whether the animal may be rabid.
Investigators don't know whether the dog was roaming or if it came from the apartment complex or a nearby home. Ledda believes the incident was isolated.
A description of the dog was not immediately available.
If you know anything about this incident, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.