A brave bystander jumped in front of a man who was allegedly attacking his ex-girlfriend with a machete at a California Starbucks Sunday — possibly saving her life but sustaining severe stab wounds that may leave his right hand disabled, multiple outlets report.
While the Good Samaritan, Blaine Hodge, 27, and the unidentified woman continue to recover at a hospital, the man accused in the attack, Robert Rivas, pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday to charges including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest, local stations KBAK and KBFX report.
The violence unfolded Sunday just before noon when a woman came running into a Starbucks in Bakersfield, screaming for help because a man with a machete was chasing her, local station KGET and CNN report.
“She was panicked,” Hodge’s friend Joe Harris told KGET. “She was saying, ‘Help me.’ Then, at one point, she said, ‘This guy’s going to kill me.’”
While other bystanders scattered when Rivas entered the store, Hodge “was the first person to run straight to the action,” when he stepped in front of the woman to protect her, Harris said.
“I couldn’t just let her die,” Hodge, 27, told local station WSFA.
Stabbed multiple times, Hodge sustained deep wounds to both hands, KGET reports.
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The attack also left him with cuts on his arms and knee, the outlet reports.
He needed almost 200 stitches, as well as surgery on his right hand, which could be permanently disabled, The Fresno Bee reports.
The woman was also stabbed and is listed in stable condition.
Hodge’s loved ones set up a GoFundMe page to help him with medical expenses, since he is expected to remain hospitalized for the next six weeks, the page says.
Hodge’s girlfriend says she’s not surprised he came to the woman’s rescue.
“I believe it, because it’s him,” said Tori Toney told KGET. “I believe that he took a machete to the hands for someone else, that’s not surprising,” she said.
“He would do it again. He could lose an arm and he would still do it again. And that’s just Blaine,” Toney said.