PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Portland man says he was stabbed near a trail in St. Johns for trying to defend an injured bird last month.
Demetrios Deligiorgis, 56, said he was walking with his two dogs and chatting with a person near Richmond Avenue on Saturday, March 26 around 11 a.m. But when Deligiorgis started to leave, he said he heard an injured bird and a man was threatening to further hurt the bird.
“The guy found a milk carton crate and started running very rapidly towards the bird,” Deligiorgis said. “I was like, ‘Wow, he’s really serious. He’s going to do this.’”
He said he went down and tried to convince the man to leave the bird alone, but the man yelled at him and started to “grunt like an animal.”
That’s when Deligiorgis said the man then ran towards him and pulled out a knife at the last second. The Portland resident said he was stabbed eight times, including below his ribcage and leg.
He explained he was able to hit the man during the struggle in an effort to escape.
“Then my dogs — this is going to get me emotional — my dogs saw that opportunity to jump in,” Deligiorgis recalled.
Deligiorgis owns a chihuahua and a mixed rescue dog. He says the two dogs took turns barking at the man.
“He kicked the chihuahua. Oh my God, I’ll never forget it,” he said. “I’ll never get the image of watching his spine curve from the foot. I can’t. Then, he just lobbed it like a football.”
Deligiogis said his rescue dog Max was also kicked by the man.
He remembers yelling at the attacker, asking him why he was stabbing him. Deligiogis said yelling that question made the man back off. He also credits his dogs for saving him.
The rest of the event is fuzzy for Deligiogis.
The Portland resident recalls losing blood and fading in and out of consciousness for hours. As for what he does remember, he said he was able to eventually make it back home to ask his friend to take care of his dogs while he went to the hospital.
As he made his way to his truck, he says two police officers showed up. His friend called 911 to make their way to his home.
“They were there in an instant and saved my life,” Deligiogis said about the first responders. “I feel so bad that they’re going through so much danger on our streets because people are making terrible choices and doing things illegally and [violently] with guns and knives.”
When asked if he regrets his decision to try and help the injured bird, Deligiogis told KOIN 6 News he “wouldn’t hesitate again to help that bird.”
However, he does plan on taking a self-defense course in the future, along with getting a gun permit for protection. He said he considers himself a pacifist but added that the stabbing has changed his way of thinking. Deligiogis also shared his experience on Nextdoor to help others know what happened.
“I wanted people to know — right in their face that – I’m a tall relatively athletic but certainly strong guy,” he said. “If he’s going to attack me, he’s going to attack anyone.”
The post currently has more than 400 likes and dozens of comments.
Deligiogis also has a message for his attacker: “Turn yourself in.”
KOIN 6 News reached out to the Portland Police Bureau for more information on this incident. A detective on the case confirmed that PPB is investigating the stabbing, but due to their ongoing investigation, PPB declined to comment further.
This is a developing story.