CINCINNATI - Cincinnati councilman Chris Seelbach honored two military veterans Wednesday for intervening in a New Year's Eve robbery downtown.
Gary Wagner, a Cincinnati businessman, was attacked while standing outside an ATM located in Over-The-Rhine in December. David Hale, 46, and Chad McClain, 38, intervened when they saw the attack and wrestled him free. One of the men stayed with the victim and the other flagged down police who chased down the suspect and made an arrest.
"I'm just glad that somebody stopped to help me," Wagner said in an exclusive interview with 9 On Your Side Wednesday. "Sometimes they don't want to get involved because they're not sure what the situation is about but thank God they did stop."
Seelbach presented Hale and McClain a proclamation for their heroism. Hale had been homeless and McClain was homeless at the time, said Seelbach.
"They saw a man in trouble and without thinking of their own safety, they jumped into action to protect him," Seelbach said. "This is a true representation of a Cincinnati citizen."
Hale was honored Wednesday by the city and he now has an apartment. McClain did not attend the ceremony as is still homeless.
"It was just instinct. You don't think about it till it's all over with. And I would do the same thing over again," Hale said. "Now my apartment is furnished. I'm still looking for a job. It's the last step to getting on my feet. Once I get a job I should be able to maintain and keep everything going forward."
Hale described to 9 On Your Side his path to homelessness. He had been caring for his ill father who then passed away. "He (Hale's father) would've been really proud. He would've been really happy," Hale said of his heroic actions.
9 On Your Side reporter Mekialaya White contributed to this report.