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Revere officer drove off dogs to rescue teen

A Revere police officer shot one Rottweiler that was attacking a 14-year-old boy in a fenced-in yard, then scaled the fence and ran to the boy’s aid, carrying him to safety while firefighters kept a second dog at bay by blasting it with a fire hose, authorities said.

Officer Mike Mullen is being credited with saving the life of the boy in the dramatic rescue late Thursday afternoon in an area near the Northgate Shopping Center. The boy is in critical condition at a local hospital, but is expected to survive.

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No charges have been filed in the attack, but the two dogs were euthanized at the behest of the owner, said Detective Sergeant Steven Pisano.

From the hospital where her son is being treated, Silvana Marchetti said she had just learned of Mullen’s role in the rescue Friday morning.

“I appreciate it and have the highest gratitude,” she said. “I would like to meet him face to face someday.”

About 5:40 p.m. Thursday, Mullen and several other officers responded to a backyard on Squire Road, behind the Northgate Shopping Center, ­after a 12-year-old boy called to report that two dogs were mauling his friend, Pisano said.

The backyard was enclosed by a padlocked, 6-foot-high, chain-link fence topped with barbed wire, Pisano said, and officers could not immediately enter while the dogs continued to attack the 14-year-old.

Mullen drew his service pistol and fired at both dogs, hitting one in the leg and forcing it to retreat from the boy, Pisano said. While firefighters sprayed the other dog, Mullen scaled the fence, picked up the boy, and ran to the gate, where firefighters cut the padlock and hustled the bleeding boy to an ambu­lance, Pisano said.

“If [Mullen] hadn’t done what he did, we’re very convinced that, due to the severity of the injuries, the boy would have died there,” Pisano said.

Pisano said that after interviewing several people in the area, police learned that the two boys frequently hang out at that location and were friendly with the dogs. The 14-year-old knew the dogs by name, had pictures of them on his Facebook page, and had been seen in the past letting the dogs lick his hand through the fence, the boy’s family and friend told ­police.

His 12-year-old friend told police that the pair scaled the fence by climbing a snowbank and jumping onto a retaining wall connected to the fence. The friend told police that he had stayed on the wall while the 14-year-old had jumped down into the yard and played with the two dogs for almost a minute before one of them began attacking him, Pisano said.

The owner of the property had kept guard dogs in the yard for three decades, and in all that time police never received a complaint about him or the dogs, Pisano said.

Mullen was uninjured, but is currently taking a short break from service, Pisano said.

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com. ­Follow him on Twitter at @ToddFeathers.
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