This is a tale of selfless heroism. When a young woman was attacked by a group of five men, one bystander couldn’t look away. John Nixon was a commando when he served in the military, and he wasn’t going to let the uneven odds get in the way. Instead the man, who is almost 90, went all in.
The attack occurred in Kentish Town, north of London in January. Nixon, who was a commando during the Korean war, was unarmed. The 5 young men he took on had knives. Yet when they grabbed the woman’s purse, he lunged at them, and tackled some of them.
“A blow from John Nixon left one assailant ‘semi conscious’,” The Telegraph reports.
Nixon wasn’t able to escape unscathed, though. He was slashed multiple times. Images show defensive wounds on his hands.
But his efforts were successful. The men ran.
Another bystander called for an ambulance that transported Nixon to a hospital.
“My initial thoughts were to divert their attention away from the girl who was screaming. I shouted ‘leave her alone’,” he told reporters.
“But they turned on me, saying ‘We’ll take your money instead’ and I said ‘No you don’t’. Kids this age are full of bravado, you see, they weren’t expecting a surprise.”
They clearly weren’t expecting a surprise.
Nixon’s Army training began after the end of WWII, and he served in “an elite special services unit and fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War.”
“After leaving the military he served as a bodyguard in Nigeria for officials from charity Medecins Sans Frontieres,” the Telegraph adds.
“My training kicked in,” Nixon explained. “I landed a blow to his neck which rendered him semi-conscious. I disabled one but another one pulled out a knife so I had to try and deal with him too.”
“I tried to disarm him and in the process I got stab wounds here, there and everywhere. There was a lot of blood. He wasn’t trained and it was more of a pocket knife. Luckily my wounds were shallow.”
“Fear is not in my dictionary,” Nixon added.
Nixon, a widower, doesn’t fear death. He’s come close to dying “so many times,” that he isn’t afraid anymore.
“I’ve been shot in the leg and even bitten by a snake, the venom lay dormant in my spine for years,” he said. “I’ve been near death so many times that situation just doesn’t worry me. The woman ran off screaming, but I hope she is okay.”
“It is believed between four and five youths surrounded a woman – one suspect was thought to be armed with a knife,” A London Metropolitan Police spokesman said.
“A member of the public saw the altercation take place and intervened. The woman managed to run away but the man was attacked by the group and suffered minor injuries.
“The victim was taken to a north London hospital and has since been discharged. No arrests have been made.”