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Cyclist uses bike to save teenager being mauled in Rottweiler attack in South Africa

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

A cyclist in South Africa has spoken of how he used his bicycle to fend off a pair of Rottweiler dogs that were mauling a 13-year-old boy, saying afterwards, “If I had been a minute later, he might have been killed.”

Angelo Vangelis Eleftheriou, aged 65, was out for a Sunday afternoon bike ride from his home in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, reports News24.com.

The website says that 13-year-old Lethokuhle Mabasa was returning home from the shops with friends when two Rottweilers jumped a fence and attacked him.

One of the dogs reportedly had gripped the youngster by the ankle and was dragging him into bushes when Mr Eleftheriou came across the incident on his bike.

“I have lived in Howick for 34 years and I have been cycling for 15 years,” he said.

“In all my years in town, I had never cycled that route before. But that afternoon, I just decided to cycle down Prospect Road.

“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.

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

It took 15 minutes to get the dogs away from the teenager.

 “When you see something like that happen, you don’t think,” Mr Eleftheriou continued.

“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 added.

The incident has been reported to police and the dogs given up to a local animal protection charity.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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10 comments

Avatar
alansmurphy | 4 years ago
0 likes

Not exactly true, some dogs hunt in packs, some dogs react to heat/noise differently as part of nature. Nurture does influence massively bus let's not deny the obvious.

Avatar
Rick_Rude | 4 years ago
1 like

Those dogs need wiping off the face of the earth. No need for them at all. 

Avatar
OldRidgeback replied to Rick_Rude | 4 years ago
1 like

Rick_Rude wrote:

Those dogs need wiping off the face of the earth. No need for them at all. 

Some neighbours of ours have a rottweiler. It is huge and looks terrifying. Actually though, she's a lovely dog that's very friendly and is best pals with my whippet. 

Don't blame the dogs. Blame the owner.

Bear in mind that dogs in South Africa are often brought up to guard property, given the country's high rate of violent crime.

 

Avatar
Miller replied to OldRidgeback | 4 years ago
1 like

OldRidgeback wrote:

Rick_Rude wrote:

Those dogs need wiping off the face of the earth. No need for them at all. 

Some neighbours of ours have a rottweiller. It is huge and looks terrifying. Actually though, she's a lovely dog that's very friendly and is best pals with my whippet. 

Don't blame the dogs. Blame the owner.

Avatar
Miller replied to Miller | 4 years ago
0 likes

OldRidgeback wrote:

Some neighbours of ours have a rottweiller. It is huge and looks terrifying. Actually though, she's a lovely dog that's very friendly and is best pals with my whippet. 

Don't blame the dogs. Blame the owner.

Lovely Rottweiler. Yeah, right. Dog owners always come out with crap like that while their hound is jumping and barking.

 

Avatar
OldRidgeback replied to Miller | 4 years ago
1 like

Miller wrote:

OldRidgeback wrote:

Some neighbours of ours have a rottweiller. It is huge and looks terrifying. Actually though, she's a lovely dog that's very friendly and is best pals with my whippet. 

Don't blame the dogs. Blame the owner.

Lovely Rottweiler. Yeah, right. Dog owners always come out with crap like that while their hound is jumping and barking.

 

Yeah right she's lovely. There are some danger dogs in the area owned by drug dealers, but she's not one of them.

Avatar
Legs_Eleven_Wor... replied to OldRidgeback | 4 years ago
1 like

OldRidgeback wrote:

Miller wrote:

OldRidgeback wrote:

Some neighbours of ours have a rottweiller. It is huge and looks terrifying. Actually though, she's a lovely dog that's very friendly and is best pals with my whippet. 

Don't blame the dogs. Blame the owner.

Lovely Rottweiler. Yeah, right. Dog owners always come out with crap like that while their hound is jumping and barking.

 

Yeah right she's lovely. There are some danger dogs in the area owned by drug dealers, but she's not one of them.

I don't want to come across all hippy an' all, but there is no such thing as a 'danger dog'.

There are of course some dogs that by virtue of their physical power are potentially more 'dangerous', but whether they cause harm is almost entirely due to the way they are handled by humans. 

Avatar
OldRidgeback replied to Legs_Eleven_Worcester | 4 years ago
0 likes

Legs_Eleven_Worcester wrote:

OldRidgeback wrote:

Miller wrote:

OldRidgeback wrote:

Some neighbours of ours have a rottweiller. It is huge and looks terrifying. Actually though, she's a lovely dog that's very friendly and is best pals with my whippet. 

Don't blame the dogs. Blame the owner.

Lovely Rottweiler. Yeah, right. Dog owners always come out with crap like that while their hound is jumping and barking.

 

Yeah right she's lovely. There are some danger dogs in the area owned by drug dealers, but she's not one of them.

I don't want to come across all hippy an' all, but there is no such thing as a 'danger dog'.

There are of course some dogs that by virtue of their physical power are potentially more 'dangerous', but whether they cause harm is almost entirely due to the way they are handled by humans. 

Well there are danger dogs round where I live. These belong to drug dealers and other assorted crims. The dogs are mistreated from a young age by their nutcase owners and taught to be aggressive. That's what makes them danger dogs.

I keep away from these guys and their snarling animals on chains and at least my whippet can outrun them pretty easily.

Luckily there aren't many of these guys in the area now. The laws changed regarding the ownership of 'weapon dogs', plus gentrification and police action aginst the most flagrant offenders have all had beneficial effects.

Avatar
Legs_Eleven_Wor... replied to Rick_Rude | 4 years ago
2 likes

Rick_Rude wrote:

Those dogs need wiping off the face of the earth. No need for them at all. 

The same could be said for most humans.  

Avatar
psychle | 4 years ago
4 likes

Chapeau, Mr.Eleftheriou! Hope your bike lived to see another day too!

 

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