Knysna News: A Narnia Village woman was viciously attacked by a man she called a “yellow-eyed animal”, who tried to bite the rings off her fingers on Sunday morning 19 November.
A shaken Ethne Hillhouse this week said her sunny morning turned into a sudden brush with death when the man appeared from nowhere.
She referred to him as an animal because, she said, he never made a sound throughout the ordeal, even when he rushed up behind her as she was taking out the garbage to the outside bin and proceeded to terrorise her.
Narnia Village is a small community that has about 40 houses and the residents know each other.
The fence cannot be climbed or cut, which makes this attack even more frightening, she said, because it is not known how the attacker entered the property.
Reflecting on the events, the 62-year-old said, “My husband and I were sitting in the courtyard and then he left to visit friends who stay three houses away.
“I went inside the house to put something in the bathroom and when I came out, I picked up the garbage and went outside to put it in the outside bin.”
This is when the horror began.
She said as she walked around the corner of the back of the house, standing right next to the garbage bin was the man – “If you can call him a man,” she said.
‘Yellow eyes and teeth’
“He was more like an animal. He had yellow eyes and yellow teeth and he was just standing there with a wallet in his hand, which I didn’t realise at the time belonged to my husband who had left it on the kitchen counter.
“This means he must have gone into our kitchen while I walked through to the bathroom and then gone out again.”
Hillhouse said when she saw him, she dropped the garbage and ran back into the house, but couldn’t pull the door shut because she had latched it back so the wind wouldn’t blow it.
“He followed me and attacked me from behind, ” explained the visibly upset Hillhouse.
“I used to have seven gold bangles and he started pulling at the bangles on my wrist, but not in a logical manner… just kept pulling which is why I have bruises, ” she continued, showing the bruises on her hand and arm.
“He eventually managed to get five of them off and then he suddenly started lunging at my rings, gold diamond ring on my right hand and my diamond wedding rings on my left ring finger,” she explained.
The very worst though was when “he just started biting my fingers to get the rings”.
Out of terror, the elderly woman recalled how she kept fighting him, screaming and shouting.
At some stage he had his arm around her mouth and broke one of her teeth, she said.
‘Attacker never made a sound’
“It was even more barbaric because he never made a sound… I offered him money and he didn’t take notice, never made a sound – not even a grunt, as he was focusing on biting the rings off my fingers,” said Hillhouse.
She eventually managed to break free and run to the neighbours where her husband was visiting, who called the police and Allsound Security – all of whom responded quickly, she said.
“We found my husband’s wallet open on the floor. He (the attacker) had taken all the money and credit cards, but because the wallet is rough leather the police couldn’t get his fingerprints, so they dusted the house,” she said.
After the incident she went to the hospital and because her fingers were so swollen, medical staff had to cut the rings off and gave her an anti-tetanus injection.
Knysna police spokesperson Sergeant Chris Spies confirmed the matter and said the initial investigation led police to the CBD where they arrested a 39-year-old suspect after some of the stolen items were found in his possession on Monday 21 November.