A BUILDER was left with tendons hanging from his left hand when he was attacked by a dog as he walked past a shop in St George.
But a week on, and with potentially permanent nerve damage, Rob Cook has still not been visited by police for a full statement.
The 30-year-old was walking back to his mum’s house after visiting a friend when he was attacked outside Star News by what he believes was a pitbull-type dog at about 12.30pm last Saturday.
“I was walking down the road and there was a dog tied to a lamp post on the corner of Kensington Road and Bell Hill Road,” said the out-of-work builder from Kingswood. “As I got closer, I saw the dog looking at me, but it wasn’t barking or growling or anything like that.
“As I passed, it jumped and clamped onto my hand. As soon as it happens you go into fight or flight mode – you don’t feel the pain until afterwards. “I grabbed my wrist with my other hand and managed to yank it out of the dog’s mouth after about 10 seconds. “The owner of the dog came out of the shop and asked what happened. I told him and he said ‘you shouldn’t have touched my dog’.
“I got straight on the phone to the ambulance. When I was on the other side of the road afterwards the dog’s owner came over and asked if I was all right, then he said ‘you shouldn’t have touched my dog’ again.” Mr Cook had to have seven stitches at hospital and has suffered nerve damage, making the back of his hand numb. He will return to hospital to find out if the damage is permanent or if any surgery is needed.
The dog in question was light in colour – cream or white – and had a brown patch over one of its eyes. It was about two-and-a-half feet tall. The 30-year-old added: “I’ve been looking on the internet to see what kind of dog it was and it looks like an American pit bull, which are banned in this country. “What would it take for the police to take it seriously? What if it had been a little boy walking past and he was attacked?
“I’m a builder, so if the nerve damage to my hand is permanent it could affect my ability to work.” Mr Cook believes several people may have witnessed the attack and that the owner lives near the shop. He says the owner was about 28-30 years old, 5ft 10in tall and stocky, with Maori-style tattoos on his upper arms. Since the incident, police have not yet visited Mr Cook, nor have they visited the shop to see if the incident was caught on CCTV.
In the end, he went to Staple Hill police station on Thursday to have pictures of his injuries taken. Police spokesman Martin Dunscombe said: “This incident was reported to us on Saturday, April 17, at which time we took details of the incident and nearby witnesses.
“It was allocated to the Crime Investigation Team on Tuesday and there are several lines of inquiry to pursue including reviewing CCTV in the area and taking statements from those people involved. “We will be contacting the victim to reassure him that we are taking his allegation seriously and that the investigation remains ongoing.”
Witnesses or people who believe they know the dog’s owner should contact police on 0845 456 7000.