James Vernon is making nationwide headlines today for his heroic actions. The 75-year-old man saved a group from a knife-wielding man at a library in Illinois, according to WAND News. The incident happened at the Morton Public Library on Tuesday afternoon.
James Vernon, a retired Army veteran, was at the library to teach chess to a class of 16 students. He was in the middle of his session with the group was surprised by the arrival of 19-year-old Dustin Brown. He burst into the library carrying two knives, and he made his intentions clear immediately. He shouted that he was there to hurt everyone.
Vernon did not allow the young male to do that. He remembered his training from the military, and the elderly man went into immediate action.
— R Joseph (@rjoseph7777) October 18, 2015
Vernon shared about the incident with the media.
“I thought it was somebody’s really off-the-wall misguided Halloween prank, totally inappropriate, and then I realized it wasn’t a prank at all. I hope that this inspires people in our country to not be weak and not be bullied and draw the line when and where you can.”
Vernon’s wife, Hanna, also spoke with the media, and she supported her husband’s brave act completely.
“I would have been very disappointed if he would have crawled under a table.”
Not many women would say such a thing after their elderly husband risked their life to save others. She told other media that she was surprised by her husband’s actions on Tuesday. Fox News shared more details about the incident that happened last week at the Morton Public Library. Vernon was teaching chess to a group of students that ranged from 7 to 13-years-old. Vernon shared the complete details of his brave actions with the local media. Fox News shared his comments.
“I tried to talk to him. I tried to settle him down. I didn’t, but I did deflect his attention 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. He backed away when I’d get closer. I gave them the cue to get the heck out of there, and, boy, they did that! Quick, like rabbits. I should have hit his wrist. That’s how you’re trained, but it’s been half a century. First rule of combat: Be fast and vigorous.”
However, Vernon never actually faced combat when he served in the Army more than 50 years ago. The training he received while in the military still came in handy, though. Vernon was able to disarm and pin the man. He was injured in the attack. He had two arteries slashed in his hand and a damaged tendon in one of his fingers. Photos of the elderly Army veteran show his left hand wrapped from when he attacked Brown on Tuesday.
— Chess Top News (@ChessTopNews) October 17, 2015
This was not the first trouble Brown was in last week. He was out on bond for child pornography charges. When he spoke to the police on Thursday, he admitted that his mission at the library was to “kill everyone.” He told the police that he failed.
James Vernon is not allowing the incident to stop him from teaching students at the public library. His scheduled class on Tuesday will go forward. According to Military.com, the elderly man told the Associated Press that he would not let Brown’s actions get in the way of his “important activity.” He would not be “intimidated or scared off” by the incident.
In addition to the child pornography charges Brown initially faced, he is now being held in custody with the additional charges of attempted murder, armed violence, and aggravated battery.
Vernon will turn 76-years-old this weekend, and he did learn a valuable lesson because of the act. He shared that lesson with the local media.
He said, “Sometimes old guys aren’t as easy of a target as you may think.”
Vernon definitely showed that age does not matter when it comes to bravery or being able to stop someone from doing harm. Dustin Brown did not surely think that an elderly man would take him down when he entered the Morton Public Library last Tuesday afternoon.
What do you think of James Vernon’s heroic act?
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]