Emotional hugs after cyclist, boy, fend off attacking dogs with bicycle

2019-03-12 15:56
Howick resident and cyclist Angelo Vangelis Eleftheriou (65) gives Lethokuhle Mabasa (13) a hug after saving the young boy from being mauled by two Rottweilers on Sunday afternoon.

Howick resident and cyclist Angelo Vangelis Eleftheriou (65) gives Lethokuhle Mabasa (13) a hug after saving the young boy from being mauled by two Rottweilers on Sunday afternoon. (Ian Carbutt)

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“If I had been a minute later, he might have been killed.”

This is what an emotional Howick cyclist said on Monday, recalling how he beat off two Rottweilers with his bicycle to stop them from mauling 13-year-old Lethokuhle Mabaso on Sunday.

Lethokuhle had been walking home from the shops with two friends along Prospect Road in Howick on Sunday afternoon when two Rottweilers apparently jumped over a fence and started attacking the young boy.

The dogs apparently had Lethokuhle by the ankle and were about to drag him into thick bushes when Howick local Angelo Vangelis Eleftheriou came cycling down the road.

“I have lived in Howick for 34 years and I have been cycling for 15 years.

“In all my years in town, I had never cycled that route before,” he said.

“But that afternoon, I just decided to cycle down Prospect Road,” he said.

“I saw three young guys and a small boy with two dogs.

“At a distance it looked like they were playing but as I got closer, I saw one of the dogs had latched on to the small boy’s hip.

“The dog pulled him down to the ground. I did not have anything on me except my bicycle so I started hitting the dogs with it to get them to let go of Lethokuhle.

“The other dog then went for Letho­kuhle’s neck and I managed to get the bike between us and the dogs.

“I started calling for help, and one of the young guys brought a stick. He stood at a distance, hitting the dog, because he was nervous, but I told him to get closer.”

Eleftheriou said the dogs were “in attack mode”.

“The dogs were trying to pull him into the bush and I was holding the bicycle and so was Lethokuhle. He was very brave.”

Eventually, after an almost 15-minute struggle, Eleftheriou and one of the youngsters who were with Lethokuhle managed to get the dogs off the boy.

“When you see something like that happen, you don’t think.

“I just did what I did.

“After, I thought about it and knew that if I had not helped and the boy had died and I lived, it would replay in my head for the rest of my life.

“You either run away or jump into the fire. Lethokuhle was very brave and strong. He fought for his life.

“Once the dogs had gone he kept saying he was going to die and I told him he was not going to die because the two of us were together,” he said, giving the boy a hug.

(From left) uMngeni SPCA field officer Jabulani Mshengu and general manager Dudu Abraham look on in horror at the wounds on Lethokuhle's body from being attacked by two dogs on Sunday.

Lethokuhle said on Monday that he was still very sore from the attack but that he was okay.

The young boy then fell asleep in the lap of uMngeni SPCA inspector Jabulani Mshengu while the boy’s aunt, Zanele Mabaso, opened a case at the Howick police station.

The dogs were surrendered to the SPCA on Monday afternoon.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  dog attacks

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