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Exeter man recounts defense of toddler from dog attack

EXETER - Keith Kondrat was on his way to his mother's house in Amesbury, Mass., Tuesday morning to drop off his dog, Cinnamon, when he spotted some trouble.

The Exeter father of three glanced to his left while driving and saw that a large mastiff/pitbull mix had just come up behind a woman pushing a 16-month-old boy in a stroller.

"It looked like she tried to nip at the baby's head. For some reason that dog wanted that child," said Kondrat, who quickly pulled over and jumped out to help.

At the same time, others rushed over, including a woman who helped the baby's caretaker, Tiffany Morris, lift the boy in the stroller up over their heads to get him away from the dog.

With Cinnamon waiting in his vehicle, Kondrat said he tried to divert the dog's attention away from the baby.

"It kept going at that child and jumping and jumping. Then it turned aggressive toward me," said Kondrat, a 46-year-old software manager who pushed and yelled at the dog in an attempt to get the dog away.

At one point, the agitated dog went after Kondrat.

"It lunged at me and caught my hand and started biting. He really got a hold of me," he said.

The dog bit Kondrat's right arm several times before another passerby, Dave Nock, stepped in and used a pole to force the dog's head into a position where the animal could be pinned down.

Kondrat was eventually able to free his arm from the dog's fierce grip as two construction workers came along and used a rope to tie up the dog.

The rope was placed around the dog's neck and secured to a railing, but when the dog tried to break free, those helping to keep the dog from running off pulled on the rope. Police said the dog became unconscious and died at the scene.

The attack left Kondrat with about six deep bite wounds, but no broken bones. He has since learned that the dog wasn't rabid.

"The injuries were minimal, considering. They're starting to heal pretty good," said Kondrat, who was treated at the scene and received follow up treatment at a local hospital before being released.

Kondrat praised the many who joined in to help protect the woman and child, calling it as a "community effort."

"Without Dave there my injuries would have been substantial," Kondrat said. "There were a lot of heroes that day. Those women did a tremendous job holding that baby up."

Despite his dog bites, Kondrat said he has no regrets and would jump in again.

"I hope if my children are ever in that situation that somebody else would step up," he said. "I believe people would do that."


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