California Man Steps Between Woman and Machete-Wielding Attacker in Starbucks: Cops

Blaine Hodge stepped in front of a machete-wielding attacker, police said.
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A California man is a local hero after putting himself between an attacker swinging a machete and a woman screaming for help, authorities said.

Blaine Hodge, 27, was inside a Starbucks in Bakersfield when a woman came running in, according to Joe Harris, who was with Hodge.

"She was panicked," Harris told KGET-TV. "She was saying, 'Help me,' and then at one point she said, 'This guy's going to kill me.'" 

A man wielding a long knife followed the woman into the coffee house, and that's when Hodge stepped in. He was hit in both arms and hands, as well as a knee. He is hospitalized with more than 200 stitches and may lose the use of his right hand, friends said. 

The woman is in critical condition at a local medical center. Police identified the assailant as Robert Rivas and said he may be an ex-partner of the victim.

"Everyone else was running away," Harris said. But his friend "was the first person to run straight to the action. 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's girlfriend, Tori Toney, wasn't a bit surprised by his actions.

"I believe it because it's him," she told the station. "I believe that he took a machete to the hands for someone else, that's not surprising. That's just Blaine."

And he'd do it again, she said. "He could lose an arm and he would still do it again."

A GoFundMe page has been established to help with Hodge's medical bills.

Rivas pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. 

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