A stranger whose dog attacked a woman’s labrador and terrier cross in a Carlisle park threatened to stab her if she went to the police.

In an exclusive interview with the News & Star, the woman has described the terrifying encounter in the city’s Heysham Park in Raffles last Tuesday evening - and how she fled to a nearby police station and found that it was closed.

Police are now investigating the frightening incident, which involved a woman walking through Heysham Park before a stranger’s dog then attacked her pet, biting its face

The woman said: “The owner was shouting the dog’s name but wasn’t doing anything to get it off.”

During the attack the woman said would call the police, to which she was threatened by the man. She continued: “This guy was saying he would knife us if we went to the police.”

It is understood no knife was seen.

It was then the man left the park and continued to hurl abuse at the woman and a fellow dog walker. Afterwards, the pair immediately headed for the Raffles community police station - but were astonished to find that it was closed.

“There was no one in the police station,” she explained.

“We called 101 and were seventh in the queue, why is a police station there and nobody is there? If I didn’t have a mobile phone, or this guy wasn’t here, I could be lying dead.”

The woman acknowledges that she should have called 999, but said she wasn’t thinking straight. The incident has left the female victim shaken.

She continued: “I have been scared to go out, it has been a nightmare. It (Raffles) is getting back to the way it was with flytipping and all sorts of stuff.”

The attack left the woman’s dog needing urgent medical attention.

“I took her to the vets and it cost me £150. The muzzle saved her life. This guy didn’t show any remorse. I have seen lots of places up for sale and I am thinking about it. In an area like this we need more of a police presence.”

Police want to identify the man, who is described as white, about 5ft 8ins tall, in his late twenties to early thirties. He was described as wearing a green Armani jacket and blue jeans. The man was walking a brown and white ‘Staffie’ type dog which was wearing a harness. Anyone with information about the incident should call PC 2402 Chris Foster on 101.

A police spokesman said: “Last year, with the support of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the public agreeing to a council tax rise, Cumbria Constabulary was able to recruit 25 additional police officers who are visible and present in the community. A rise this year will allow the constabulary to recruit another 20 officers and sustain and build on the investment last year.”

The woman wished to remain anonymous for fears for her own safety.

The Shadygrove Road building is not advertised or publicised by the constabulary as a station that would be open to the public during regular hours. It is used as a base while officers and staff work in the community.

A police spokesman said: “We would advise people: Always ring 999 in an emergency.”