James Vernon, 75, is a veteran of the United States Army, and you should commit that name to memory because he just saved the lives of sixteen children (aged 7 to 13). After a knife-wielding psychopath entered the Morton library in Illinois carrying two 5-inch blades described as ‘hunting types’ James Vernon jumped into action.
The Army vet who was there leading a meeting of the Chess Club for local kids realized the severity of the situation when the 19-year-old attacker burst into the library, hunting knife in each hand, and began spewing threats. I’m not going to name the attacker directly, if you’re interested in that you can find his name down below if you follow that link to FOX News, but as his initials are D.B. I’ll go ahead and call him *douchebag* for the remainder of this article, if that’s alright with you.
James Vernon had never served in combat during his time with the U.S. Army, but that didn’t stop him from instantly recalling decades-old weapons training. It was the knife-fight training which he’d received over five decades ago which helped him to subdue the knife-wielding attacker, though he sustained “two cut arteries and a tendon on his left hand from blocking *douchebag*’s knife swipe.”
The 16 frightened children – ranging in age from 7 to 13– scurried under tables in the library’s conference room as Vernon stood in front of *douchebag*.
*douchebag* appeared angry as he focused his attention on the children. Vernon kept his cool and distracted *douchebag* to give the kids a chance to escape.
“I tried to talk to him. I tried to settle him down,” Vernon told the Pekin Daily Times. “I didn’t, but I did deflect his attention” from the kids “and calmed him a bit. I asked him if he was from Morton, did he go to high school. I asked what his problem was. He said his life sucks. That’s a quote.”
As Vernon spoke, he inched closer to *douchebag*. “He backed away when I’d get closer.” With a few steps, Vernon put himself between *douchebag* and the conference room door.
“I gave them the cue to get the heck out of there, and, boy, they did that! Quick, like rabbits,” Vernon said.
*Douchebag*, who admittedly intended to murder each and every child in that room was currently facing charges for possession of child pornography, and later told police that he intended to pull off a murder-suicide. He’s now facing five more charges from this attack including attempted murder, armed violence, aggravated battery, and a host of other charges.
As for how 75-year-old James Vernon handled the situation, let’s get back to that FOX News report:
“I should have hit his wrist. That’s how you’re trained, but it’s been half a century,” Vernon recalled. “First rule of combat: Be fast and vigorous,” said Vernon, who never served in combat.
The veteran’s medium build was enough to overcome *douchebag*. “I grabbed him and threw… Somehow he wound up on a table” with the knife in his left hand pinned under his body, Vernon said. “I hit him on the (right) collarbone with my closed hand” until **douchebag* dropped that knife.
Vernon said he was “bleeding pretty good,” but managed to hold *douchebag* until a library employee removed the knives and helped to keep *douchebag* pinned until police and paramedics arrived.
I don’t know about you bros, but someone like retired Army vet James Vernon restores my faith in humanity. And that phrase gets tossed around way too often by clickbait sites like Upworthy and all the Upworthy clones of the world, but holy shit, this is one situation that truly deserves that. I feel better just knowing that people like James Vernon are out there in the world. For more on this story be sure to follow that link above to FOX News!