The feel good story of the night comes to us from Morton, Ill. and involves a 75-year-old Army veteran who fought off a crazed 19-year-old who threatened his class of chess students with two knives:
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) October 17, 2015
James Vernon was teaching a chess class with 16 children at Morton Public Library when authorities say 19-year-old Dustin Brown entered the room with two knives. According to a court affidavit, Brown told police afterward that he “failed in his mission to kill everyone.”
“He actually ran into the room yelling, ‘I’m going to kill some people!’ He was holding two knives,” Vernon told the Pekin Daily News. Vernon described the knives as “hunting types” with “fixed blades about 5 inches” long.
Vernon suffered “two cut arteries and a tendon” while defending the kids and credits the knife-fighting skills he learned in the Army for allowing him to delay Brown enough to get the kids to safety:
“There were no more potential victims in the room. He focused on me. There was no more talking,” but Vernon watched what Brown did with his knives and learned.
“I knew he was right-handed. He was whittling on his left arm” with the one in that hand, “making small cuts. He was trying to scare me, and he did.” But if Brown attacked, “I knew which hand it was coming from.”
Brown slashed from the right towards Vernon, who blocked the blade with his left hand. “I should have hit his wrist. That’s how you’re trained, but it’s been half a century,” he said.
“First rule of combat: Be fast and vigorous,” said Vernon, who was trained but never served in combat. Vernon’s medium build was enough to overcome his smaller attacker.
Well done, sir!