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Ex-RAF man ignores stab wound to fight off three armed muggers in Chicago

Published 28/10/2015

A former RAF serviceman has been hailed as a hero in the United States - after over-powering a group of armed muggers while on holiday in Chicago with his girlfriend.

Neil McCarthy, an Afghanistan veteran from Plymouth, and Carisa Lerner were walking along Oak Street Beach by Lake Michigan when three men approached them demanding valuables. The 27-year-old handed over his iPhone and wallet but says he “lost it” when he saw the attackers “manhandling” Ms Lerner.

Although he was stabbed in the shoulder Mr McCarthy overcame the gang and two of suspects were later arrested.

Mr McCarthy, an ex-Senior Aircraftman, got the man carrying a knife into a headlock but was then stabbed while being punched by the two other attackers. “I knew I’d been stabbed, it didn’t hurt, it felt like a punch,” he said.

Mr McCarthy got hold of the knife and stabbed one mugger before all three fled from the scene.

He said: “A guy cycling past had called the police and when they arrived I was the one holding the bloody dripping knife, so I just put my hands up.”

Mr McCarthy, currently studying in the US as a graduate student of security technologies at the University of Minnesota, was treated for injuries while answering questions. He then used an app to trace his stolen phone and found it was only 30m away so decided to give chase – bare-chested given he had already taken off his bloodied shirt.

He said: “I went after him, topless at this point, and caught him and dragged him back to the police.”

Two of the three alleged muggers were being held on bail while the third suspect is still being sought.

Mr McCarthy’s mother Linda, said she was “immensely proud” of her son. “It’s not everyday someone single-handedly fights off three men and hands one in to the police,” she said.

RAF veteran Neil McCarthy, right, shortly following the attack Fox 32
RAF veteran Neil McCarthy, right, shortly following the attack Fox 32

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