SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – Some are calling a San Marcos man a hero after he helped stop an aggravated robbery in downtown San Marcos last month. However, when he stepped in he was stabbed five times.

Mason Ellis tells KXAN he and a woman he met the night of Sept. 30 had just left a bar when two men started hassling her. He says one of the men grabbed the woman’s wallet and took off.

“The other guy, the one who eventually stabbed me, I grabbed him and wouldn’t let him go. He then said ‘why are you holding me, the other guy took the wallet.’ So, I let him go,” said Ellis.

Ellis says both men ran away but returned a few moments later just before the couple called police. “They were walking directly towards us,” he said. “At that point it was like a fight or flight moment. I attempted to essentially detain them and the ensuing scuffle is when one of the guys wound up stabbing me five times.”

Ellis was stabbed three times in the back, once in the face and once on his hand severing two tendons that resulted in surgery.

“I thought while i was still on the sidewalk, before the emergency responders made it, I was holding onto my wrist because that’s where I was bleeding the most; I was trying to keep pressure on it. I thought at that point I might very well die,” said Ellis. “I’m very, very thankful to the first responders and the emergency staff at the South Austin emergency trauma center at St. David’s. In my opinion, they are the real heroes, they are the reason I’m here today.”

It’s a moment Ellis says he will never forget and likely has changed his life forever. “It definitely, like I said changed my perspective and kind of what not to take for granted.” he said. “I feel like the best thing for me to do right now is to fight back and just not let them be able to take away something from me that they don’t deserve.”

That same night San Marcos police arrested two men, Matthew Felan, 26, and Austin Lang. According to court documents, Felan admitted to stabbing Ellis and identified Lang as his friend who stole the wallet.

The violent attack is preventing Ellis from working as his hand heals. He has started a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising enough money to cover his medical bills.

The San Marcos Police department says it has four officers assigned to the downtown area every Thursday, Friday and Saturday which are usually the most busy.

Knowing that couple was just about to call 911 before the attack, we wanted to see how fast San Marcos police respond to incidents on the square. If someone’s life is in immediate danger, police are on scene in an average of five minutes. If it’s a serious situation, but not likely to worsen, the response time is about eight and a half minutes. For calls where there is little to no chance of arresting the culprit on scene, response times are almost 11 minutes.KXAN’s Lauren Lanmon talks with the man tonight on KXAN News at 6.

Matthew Felan, left, and Austin Lang. (Hays County Sheriff's Office)