An 88-year-old British military veteran tapped into his decades-old training to reportedly save a young woman from five knife-wielding thugs.
John Nixon, who fought in the Korean War, said he stepped in when he noticed five youths grab a woman’s handbag and clothes while walking down Raglan Street, in Kenthish Town, last month.
“My initial thoughts were to divert their attention away from the girl who was screaming. I shouted ‘leave her alone,’” he told the Evening Standard. “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.”
Nixon said his military training kicked in and he fought back at one of the suspected thieves, slugging one in the neck.
“I disabled one but another pulled out a knife so I had to try and deal with him too,” he continued. “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.”
The robbers fled and Nixon was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Police officers applauded Nixon for the Jan. 27 attack, commending him for his “extraordinary bravery.”
Nixon said he trained as a special forces solider, or commando, in the British military at a training camp at Achnacarry Castle in the Western Highlands of Scotland.
He said he was sent on intelligence missions to Egypt, the Middle East and Germany. After leaving the military, he served as a bodyguard to Doctors Without Borders in Nigeria.
Nixon said all he wanted to do was help the woman being attacked.
“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.”
He added: “Fear is not in my vocabulary.”
Police said no arrests have been made.