HILLSIDE — A township police officer shot two dogs after they attacked a group of children on the street and cornered a teenage girl.

Police were called Monday about two pit bulls who were seen attacking children on Center Street, about two blocks from the middle school. When they arrived, police saw a 13-year-old boy with ripped pants and a bleeding leg.

As one of the responding officers tended to the boy, the pit bulls returned and charged at a group of about 20 children, causing them to scatter and jump onto vehicles and into the yards of surrounding homes to avoid being attacked, police said.

The dogs focused on a 14-year-old girl and cornered her after she ran onto a porch. Police said Lt. Matthew Cole shot at the dogs.

"If not for the swift actions of Lt. Cove in this unfortunate situation, the consequences could have been devastating for multiple victims," Hillside police wrote on their Facebook page. 

Most comments to the post have been supportive of Cole's action.

"The residents of Hillside should know when Lt. Cove is on the scene they are in good hands," Bill Dillon wrote.

"Great job, Lt. Cove! This could have ended a lot worse but your precision saved that girl," Elle Gonz wrote.

The Facebook post is not clear happened to the dogs or their owner. A message for police had not been returned Thursday morning.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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