Bakersfield, CA – A selfless Good Samaritan put himself between a woman and her machete-wielding attacker on Sep. 9.
Blaine Hodge, 27, was inside a Starbucks with his friend, Joe Harris, when a frantic woman suddenly ran into the business, screaming about a man trying to murder her, KGET reported.
"She was panicked. She was saying 'help me' and then at one point she said, 'this guy's going to kill me,'" Harris told KGET.
The woman’s ex-boyfriend, later identified as 31-year-old Robert Daniel Rivas, burst into the coffee shop behind her, swinging the lethal blade in broad daylight, according to KGET.
“He was holding something in his hand,” Harris recalled. “I had no idea what he was holding."
That “something” turned out to be a machete, and Rivas was clearly not going to stop his attack.
"Everyone else was running away and [Hodge] was the first person to run straight to the action," Harris told KGET. "He was like, 'I'm going to stop this guy, regardless if I get stabbed or not. I can't let this woman die.’"
Hodge threw himself between the woman and the potentially fatal blows Rivas delivered, and was repeatedly stabbed and cut during his lifesaving efforts.
He suffered deep cuts to both of his hands, as well as to his arms and knee.
Hodge was rushed to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery in an effort to repair his severely-damaged right hand.
Altogether, surgeons used nearly 200 stitches to close his wounds, and he still couldn’t move his right hand in the days following the attack.
The unnamed female victim was also stabbed, although it was unclear if she was injured before Hodge rushed to her aid, or during the altercation that followed.
She was listed in critical condition.
Hodge’s girlfriend, Tori Toney, told KGET that she was not surprised to learn of her beau’s heroic effort.
"I believe it because it's him," Toney said. “He took a machete to the hands for someone else. That's not surprising. He would do it again. He could lose an arm and he would still do it again.”
“That’s just Blaine,” she added.
Hodge’s supporters rallied around him in the wake of the attack, and launched a fundraising campaign that raised over $53,000 before he asked that it be closed down.
“I only did what I would do, what I felt in my core that I am supposed to do, what was my responsibility,” Hodge explained on the website. “In turn, I am having difficulty accepting so much from you… I am good. I will be good. This money will be such a great help to me.”
Hodge said the donations would allow him to pay a few months’ rent, to purchase a reliable vehicle, and to get himself food and a bed.
A portion of the funds will also be donated to the Jamison Center, where Hodge said he spent “too much time” as a child.
The Jamison Children’s Center is a 24-hour emergency shelter for “abused, neglected, and exploited children,” according to the facility’s website.
Hodge also wrote that he wanted to “turn the narrative to the big picture,” according to the fundraising page.
“Teach your boys to love and respect women, to take rejection as an opening door to the rest of their lives, to be comfortable in themselves and to hold the women in their lives as holy,” he asked his supporters.
“This event, what happened to me and that woman in Starbucks last Sunday, this is what happens. This is the result of a man thinking he has the right to a woman’s life,” Hodge explained. “This is the result of one person not taking the time to teach him what is right.”
He suggested that his supporters focus their attention on helping the next generation.
“Donate your time and love to the young ones around you,” he wrote. “Teach them. Love them. Thank you.”
Rivas was arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, and attempted murder, KGET reported.
He pleaded not guilty on Sep. 11, according to KBAK.