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May 10. 2013 3:25PM

Exeter man injured defending woman, toddler from mastiff/pitbull mix; dog strangled after attack

EXETER - An Exeter man is recovering after he was bitten several times by a dog when he stepped in to protect a woman and a 16-month-old boy in a stroller.

Keith Kondrat suffered multiple puncture wounds and may have fractured his arm in the attack that happened shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday while the woman was pushing the stroller and others were walking to a bus stop in Amesbury, Mass.

Amesbury police Sgt. William Scholtz said police were called to the area of Main and Mill streets after receiving a report of a group of people being attacked by a dog.

He and another officer arrived and found several people surrounding a large female mastiff/pit bull mix believed to weigh between 85 and 90 pounds. The dog was secured by a rope.

Scholtz said it appears several people were walking to the bus stop when the loose dog ran over and threatened the woman and the child in the stroller.

"She took an interest in the little boy in the stroller," he said.

Fearing the child would be attacked, the woman, described as the boy's caregiver, lifted him and stroller up over her head to keep him away from the dog, Scholtz said.

The dog appeared to become more agitated, prompting others to intervene.

Another woman rushed over and helped hold up the stroller while several men tried to get the dog away from them, Scholtz said.

At some point, Kondrat, who joined in to help and tried to get the dog's attention, was bitten several times.

"He definitely drew the dog's attention away from the child regardless of what the dog's intentions were. As a result of that he put himself in harm's way," Scholtz said.

Police said a rope was eventually tied around the dog's neck and secured to a railing until police arrived. When the dog tried to flee, those who were helping pulled on the rope to stop the dog from breaking loose.

Police said the dog became unconscious when the rope was pulled hard enough that the dog's front legs were lifted off the ground. The dog did not recover and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The dog's owner, who was not identified, told police that the dog broke free from its collar and took off, police said. The owner also said the dog's rabies vaccinations were not up to date. The dog will likely be tested for rabies, police said.

Kondrat, who was the only person injured, was treated by Amesbury fire and rescue personnel at the scene, but later went on his own to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, Mass., for additional treatment.

Police have not filed charges against the dog's owner, but the incident remains under investigation.

Kondrat could not be reached for comment Thursday.



jschreiber@newstote.com

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