NewsOnly on 23ABC


Surveillance video captures 2018 machete attack at Southwest Bakersfield Starbucks

Posted at 5:08 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 20:45:20-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Surveillance video from inside the Starbucks on Stockdale Highway and Village Lane shows a typical day inside the coffee shop. People coming in to grab a cup of coffee and studying at nearby tables. But just before Noon on Sept. 9, 2018, that all changed.

No one in the store knew that nearby a domestic violence situation was unfolding.

Around 11:45 a.m. a woman ran into Starbucks and appeared to be in distress. In the video, there's no audio but she looks like she's saying something while pointing toward a man walking in the front door.

That man was 31-year-old Robert Rivas.

The video showed the woman ran behind the counter and Rivas follows. You can see immediately Blaine Hodge was out of his seat. As Rivas attacked the woman, Hodge ran behind the counter and intervened.

Hodge was able to pull Rivas off the victim, but then slipped and fell to the ground. That's when Rivas turned the machete on him, giving the woman a chance to get away.

The video shows Hodge get up, bloodied, and head out the front door. Visitors in the store also start rushing out.

It's 20 seconds later Rivas, machete in hand, calmly walks out the front door.

23ABC caught up with Hodge as he was released from the hospital in 2018. His hand was bandaged with hundreds of stitches on his body.

He told 23ABC when he saw the look on the woman's face he had to do something.
he was helpless, so he stepped in.
"She was just frantic while he was just stabbing her and stabbing her and stabbing her," Hodge said. He said she was helpless, so he stepped in.

"It was the fear that was on her face. I couldn't just let it keep happening you know like and you gotta do something like no way, nah ah, no, no," Hodge said. "That was what was going through my head. No. Absolutely not."

Hodge and the woman were taken to the hospital with critical injuries, but did survive.

Last year, local Congressman and House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy awarded Hodge with the 2019 Citizens Honors Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. McCarthy said Hodge acted, "swiftly and bravely."