A 75-year-old army vet managed to stop a knife wielding paedophile from attacking and potentially killing 16 children in a library in Morton, Illinois.
James Vernon was leading a chess club meeting at the Morton Library when 19-year-old Dustin Brown burst into the room with two hunting knives threatening to kill everyone.
Vernon immediately put himself between the attacker and the children – aged 7 between and 11 – who hid under tables until it was safe to escape. At the time of the attack, Brown was free on bond while facing prosecution charges of possessing child pornography, and told later told police: “I failed my mission to kill everyone.”
Speaking to the Pekin Daily Times, Vernon describes the attack:
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.
I grabbed him and threw… Somehow he wound up on a table. I hit him on the (right) collarbone with my closed hand.
Vernon suffered two cut arteries and a tendon on his left hand from blocking Brown’s knife swipes, but all the children escaped unharmed. Vernon and one of the staff members in the library detained Brown until the police arrived.
Dustin Brown is being held on bond of $800,000 charged with attempted murder, armed violence, aggravated battery to a person over age 60, and burglary for entering the library with intent to commit a crime.
James Vernon undoubtedly saved the lives of 16 innocent children in that library, and it’s good to see people standing tall in the face of such danger. You’re a true inspiration Mr Vernon.