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20-year-old recalls how he rescued Weimar teen

By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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Wade Andrews had pulled into a Downtown Auburn parking lot when he heard a scream that made him bolt from his car. “I heard someone a few cars over screaming at the top of their lungs pretty much for their life,” Andrews said Friday. Andrews, 20, of Auburn, was one of eight witnesses Friday to testify in an appeal regarding four pitbulls that attacked a teen in a parking lot located on 894 Lincoln Way in Auburn. The hearing centered on the Sept. 16 attack that left now 18-year-old Weimar resident Joseph “JoJo” Kerschner with more than 20 puncture wounds and 30 stitches in his body. Kerschner recounted how the four dogs approached him in the evening hours of Sept. 16. Unprovoked, one dog lunged at him and the others followed. The teen was trying to fight off the dogs himself before a nearby stranger, Andrews, was able to come to his rescue. Andrews said he jumped out of his car when he heard Kerschner’s screams and saw him being attacked by the dogs through his rear view mirror. With no weapon in hand, Andrews stood over Kerschner and used his arms to motion the dogs away and started yelling at them. Someone threw a large wrench toward the commotion and Andrews said he used it to hit the sides of the dogs to get them off Kerschner. Andrews and his 20-year-old girlfriend, April O’Dell, of Foresthill, were able to pull Kerschner into the backseat of his car. Andrews and Kerschner both testified that two of the pitbulls stayed and jumped and clawed at the car. Andrews said he popped into the driver’s seat to make sure Kerschner was OK. “He was in shock,” Andrews recalled. “I saw his shirt torn to pieces, one of his shoes was missing and there was a big gash under his arm.” Kerschner, who has scars today from the attack, testified Friday that he was told that the deep gash under his right arm was half a centimeter away from a major artery. “If they had hit that artery, I’d probably not be here right now,” Kerschner said. In a prior Journal report, Kerschner credited Andrews and O’Dell with saving his life. “When I saw Wade coming over with a wrench I equated that to a knight in shining armor,” Kerschner said. Kerschner’s parents, Gabe and Barbi, said Andrews is “a hero in our eyes.” “Our emotions are pretty strong for someone willing to step up and help a family member like that,” Gabe Kerschner said. “It was pretty cool.” Jenifer Gee can be reached at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com.