Officials: 2 men who saved girl from raccoon attack safe from rabies

GLADWYNE, Pa. (WPVI) -- Montgomery County Health Department officials say two men who came to the aid of a young girl who was being attacked by a rabid raccoon Thursday in Lower Merion, Pa., are safe from contracting rabies.

Two friends, James Myers and Rick Turnbull, both of Northeast Philadelphia, say they did not come in contact with the animal's saliva.

Officials say the young girl was walking home from school around 4 p.m. Thursday through a wooded area on the Bridlewild Trail near Dodds Lane in Gladwyne.

"One apparently stood on the animal's tail while the other beat the raccoon with a hockey stick until it let go of the girl's leg," Julie Paoline, director of the Montgomery County Health Department's Division of Communicable Disease Control, said in a statement.

After coming to her aid, the men drove the girl home to her parents, but left before anyone found out their identities.

A Lower Merion animal control officer captured the raccoon, which tested positive for rabies.

The girl received immediate vaccines and is expected to be OK.

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