His act of bravery earned him brutal beating from a trio of physically imposing bullies, including a fracture under his eye, stitches all over his face — including in his tear duct — and a concussion.
But Wen Jones, 43, said he’d do it all over again.
The former marine and father of two observed a 14-year-old boy and his 55-year-old father getting harassed and abused by three 20-year-old men at a Florida beach.
The boy’s father, LeRoy Wright Jr., told the men to leave, but Jones sensed the bullies were about to attack.
“I couldn’t stand there and watch this older guy and kid get beaten up,” Jones told the Sun-Sentinel of the May 19 incident near the restrooms and showers at Juno Beach Park.
“I walked over, said, ‘Hey guys, calm down.’ The next thing I know, I’m in the middle of a melee. I got tangled up with one the biggest guys and he beat me in the back of the head until I was unconscious. When I came to, I was being beaten in the face.”
Three months after the attack, Jones still struggles a bit with foggy thoughts after his concussion but doesn’t regret his actions.
“I’m not happy to have been injured pretty severely, but at the same time, I ask myself, would I do it again?” he tells the Sun-Sentinel. “You know, it was the right thing to do, so I probably would.”
Cody Moore Roon, Tyler Dylan Carswell, and Eric Michael Deiter, all from Palm Beach County, face aggravated battery charges because of the severity of the injuries they inflicted upon Jones, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
The trio of thugs actually were bullying other kids earlier that day on the beach, police reports say, and witnesses reported they honed in on a 14-year-old boy named Zion, an amateur competitive skateboarder, by kicking sand in his face and calling him names.
Wright said the bullies used racial slurs against his son, who is black, but the Sun-Sentinel says police haven’t charged them with a hate crime.
When the beating began, Wright said he ran to his car to grab a baseball bat. Others at the scene recorded the attack on their phones (Police have video but have not released it). Zion was terrified and crying, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
The bullies ran off before police could capture them, but they were all arrested in the last two weeks. Deiter is the only suspect with a criminal past; he pleaded guilty to a battery charge in 2010, when he was 17, and got probation, records indicate.
Blood poured from his nose and from one of his eyes, which was swollen shut, officers noted in their report. The Sun-Sentinel reports he was taken to the hospital and underwent surgery a few days later.
Wright, who never got a chance to ask Jones his name, is praying for the Good Samaritan.
“I feel like this man literally risked his life, because he saw a situation that was bad, that he stepped up for, when you got your average people standing around videotaping and nobody stepped in,” Jones told the Sun-Sentinel. “I am so appreciative that out of all the people that was standing around on the beach that day, that he was the only one that stood up against these guys.”
Here’s a report from WPEC-TV: