A 39-year-old British amputee who was taking a stroll with his dog was severely wounded by two knife-wielding men who tried to abduct his pooch, according to a report.
Andy Garside, a father of three, was walking his 9-month-old French bulldog Lilo in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, late Tuesday when he noticed two young men walking behind him, MEN Media reported.
His wife told the Manchester Evening News that he didn’t think anything was amiss at first and the men moved away.
“But as he went around he could see they were waiting for him. They came up to him and one of the lads was saying, ‘That’s a sick dog — can we pick it up?’” Stacey, 41, told the newspaper.
“Andy said no, because the dog was getting a bit nervous,” she added.
One of the men tried to pick Lilo up, but Garside managed to pull her away – but things turned violent when they began to punch him in the face.
One of the attackers then stabbed him in the stomach with a knife, Stacey said.
“Andy was wearing shorts, and I think they targeted him thinking it was going to be an easy steal to take a high-value dog,” she said.
“They didn’t expect him to fight them off. They scuffled for a bit before one said, ‘Just leave it now’ — and they ran off towards the new-builds on the estate,” Stacey said.
“Andy picked the dog up and went back the way he came. He knocked on somebody’s door for help, and they gave him a towel as he was bleeding quite heavily,” she continued.
“Andy has a broken nose that is going to need surgery. His septum has completely come away. He has got concussion and his face is a bit of a mess,” Stacey said, adding that Lilo was left “traumatized.”
“My friend and her husband came round to check we were OK. As they came in through the door, Lilo ran through the living room making the most awful scream. She was that scared,” she said.
Her husband’s leg was amputated after several failed surgeries to repair tendon damage – and he developed arthritis and chronic regional pain syndrome in his ankle.
Lilo is usually walked by their daughter Imogen, 19.
After his attack, Garside suffered a seizure Wednesday due to functional neurological disorder, which is triggered by stress, according to the report.
Police are investigating the attack and urge any witnesses to come forward.