PITTSBURGH -- A Moundsville man who was wounded while protecting a woman from a bus stop assault was among 22 people honored Thursday with Carnegie medals for heroism.
In January, Wilfred R. "Bill" Spencer III was driving by a bus stop in Wheeling when he saw Tiffany Aumick, 28, being assaulted by her alleged boyfriend, Jonathan Welch, 24, according to news reports at the time.
Welch allegedly pulled Aumick's head back, held a knife to her throat, and cut her on the face when she struggled. Spencer, 43, stopped at the scene, stood between Welch and Aumick and asked Aumick if she wanted to leave the shelter with him, according to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
After Spencer helped the woman into his truck, Welch stabbed him. Days after the attack, Spencer told the Intelligencer of Wheeling that he was stabbed nine times, including once in the stomach and three time in the back. He managed to subdue Welch, with help from Aumick and Spencer's wife.
"It shouldn't be unusual for someone to stop and help a young lady in need," Spencer told the Intelligencer. "That should be the norm. ... People shouldn't be afraid to help each other, even if it just means calling 911."
Other medal winners honored were from Michigan, Canada, Vermont, Tennessee, Oregon, Kansas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, Nebraska, and Georgia. Among them were three New Jersey men who rescued two people from a burning van that had crashed.
Carnegie medalists or their heirs receive financial grants approved by the commission. More than $35 million has been awarded to 9,598 honorees since the fund's inception in 1904. New recipients are announced four times a year.
Steel baron Andrew Carnegie was inspired to start the fund after hearing rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people.
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, based in Pittsburgh, says its mission is to recognize people who perform heroic acts in civilian life and to provide financial help to those disabled, or to the dependents of those killed, by their heroism.