THE man who calmly stepped in to halt a berserk bull mastiff ’s savage attack on a Leominster woman said he could not have lived with himself had he not helped.
Robert Hirschmann used a lightweight chair to loosen the dog’s grip on Teresa Stinton who is being treated for “catastrophic” multiple bites and lacerations after the attack at a house in Bridge Street on Saturday.
Ms Stinton had been delivering a parcel early in the evening when she was savaged for around 15 minutes before Mr Hirschmann put himself between her and the dog.
He had been driving past the house on his way home.
“It was just one of those things. I couldn’t personally walk away. If something had happened to her I couldn’t live with it,” said Mr Hirschmann.
Ms Stinton, he said, was on the ground covered “head to toe” in lacerations and screaming for help.
Mr Hirschmann, 41, said that the animal had lunged at Ms Stinton every time she screamed.
But he found a chair to put himself between her and the dog.
“I have just done an intensive first aid course and it’s all about looking around to see what you can use in a situation,” he said.
He then talked the animal down and was able to get a collar on it and pull it away from Ms Stinton so paramedics could reach her.
The dog died at the scene and a Staffordshire bull terrier also involved in the attack was seized by police.
“If there wasn’t a chair there I would’ve still tried to get the dog off and tried different techniques. The dog wasn’t going for me at all,” said Mr Hirschmann, who works as a joiner with Leominster firm Browns Carpentry Joinery and Oak Timber.
“If I had gone there when it just started it might’ve been a different story but it was exhausted by the time I arrived.”
Detectives were due to interview Ms Stinton on Wednesday as she recovers from specialist surgery.
She faces more treatment and procedures to prevent secondary infections from her bite wounds.
A post mortem on the dog that died was due yesterday and the findings will determine the course of the investigation and any future charges.
The dog, identified by Mr Hirschmann, as responsible for the attack.
After Mr Hirschmann’ heroics, Leominster paramedics Rob Wilde and Pete Savage soon arrived and used a new trauma drug on Ms Stinton.
Colleague Mel Bird, who had just finished a 12-hour shift, arrived seconds later as back-up.
With Mr Hirschmann keeping the dog at bay, paramedic Mr Wilde went to the side of the house where Ms Stinton lay bleeding heavily but still conscious.
The paramedics stabilised Ms Stinton before rushing her to Leominster Police Station where an air ambulance had landed to fly her to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Mr Wilde said he and his colleagues could not praise Mr Hirschmann highly enough.
Two men, arrested following the attack, were released on police bail.
Commenting on the Hereford Times’ Facebook page, Ken Stuch – who claimed he was the owner of the dogs – said he could not explain how sorry he was.
A woman, who was later arrested, has also been released on police bail.
Two other two women, who tried unsuccessfully to help Ms Stinton before Mr Hirschmann arrived, also needed medical treatment.