A MAN who was stabbed by a gang of thugs may have been trying to protect a dog from being attacked.
The incident happened around 10pm outside Friston House in Warrior Square, St Leonards last Friday.
It is believed the man may have been trying to save the animal from being attacked when the gang of five turned on him.
He was stabbed in the torso and taken to the Conquest for injuries not though to be life threatening.
Five youths were arrested nearby on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.
A 19-year-old man from Hastings, two 18-year-old men from Hastings, a 15-year-old boy from St Leonards and a 16-year-old boy from St Leonards were all bailed until December 8 pending further enquiries.
Police recovered a baseball bat and hammer in Magdalen Road and these are being analysed to assess if they are linked with the attack.
Local resident Charlotte Howard, 37, was first on the scene and tried to give the man assistance.
She said: “I was walking down Kings Road and I saw this lad had a white t-shirt on but was covered in blood.
“I had just been up to the Spar shop.
“He was struggling to breathe so I ran over and got a chair from a neighbour.
“I ripped off his t-shirt and tied it around his back to try and stop the blood.
“Then a police dog unit turned up and took over. I just shouted to get an ambulance quick.
“I work in a shop and some of the customers said he had been trying to protect a dog when he was attacked outside Friston House.
“He was stabbed under his arm, on his back and head. He was quite lucky not to have been killed.
“I rang the hospital to see how he was. He was intensive care at first but he seems to be okay now.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police by calling 101 and quoting Operation Aragon or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.