Hero Havant fireman mauled as he saves woman in dog attack

HERO Watch manager Craig Sadler who was attacked by two dogs as he tried to save a woman. Picture: Malcolm Wells (122447-6745)
HERO Watch manager Craig Sadler who was attacked by two dogs as he tried to save a woman. Picture: Malcolm Wells (122447-6745)

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AN OFF-DUTY firefighter has been hailed a hero after saving a woman from a ferocious attack by two out-of-control dogs.

Craig Sadler was cleaning his friend’s windows when he heard screams and turned round to see a woman on the floor being mauled by a rottweiler and a large white Staffordshire bull terrier in Crawley Avenue, West Leigh.

The 48-year-old woman was on her hands and knees with the dogs biting her backside and legs.

Mr Sadler, watch manager at Havant fire station, raced over and tried to pull the woman free from the ferocious animals at 9.45am, on Thursday.

But they then turned on him.

The 39-year-old dad-of-three said: ‘I’ve been in the fire brigade 16 years and I have never seen anything like it. I was at the top of the ladder when I heard shouting and screaming.

‘I turned round to see this poor lady with the dogs trying to rip her T-shirt off and she was shouting “help me, help me, the dogs are attacking me”.

‘They weren’t her dogs, she was just innocently walking down the road when it happened. She hadn’t provoked them.

‘They were literally mauling her. They pulled her to the ground and dragged her down the road.

‘They were biting her legs and back and she was screaming in agony.

‘The dogs were absolutely crazy. They were vicious, snarling and barking with their teeth showing.

‘When I got to her I had to wrestle with the pitbull-type dog and he bit my hand and the rottweiler bit my stomach.

‘A neighbour threw me a broom stick and while the woman ran into a house I had to defend myself with it and the white dog bit my finger on the other hand.

‘It went on for about five minutes.

‘My only thought to get out of the situation was to throw the stick and hope the dog went for it.

‘I shouted to the neighbour I was going to run into her house so she was ready. Even when I threw it they came after me.’

Terrifyingly both dogs began circling the house Mr Sadler and the woman had gone into, lunging at the front door and trying to rip the letterbox off.

Mr Sadler gave the woman first aid while they waited for the police and paramedics who treated both of them at the scene.

Police rounded the dogs up and traced the owner, despite them not having collars or microchips, and the animals were destroyed.

The woman is not making a complaint but police are still investigating. She did not want to speak about the ordeal, but through a friend said she was very grateful to Mr Sadler for rescuing her

A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘Craig is a hero. There is no doubt in my mind that if that was a child the dogs had hold of they wouldn’t have made it. What he did was amazing.’

But Mr Sadler said it was instinct. He added: ‘I’m not some macho man I just saw a woman who needed help,

‘I genuinely didn’t even think about it.’