Micah Fletcher’s survival of last week’s deadly Oregon train stabbing may have come down to millimeters — the attacker’s blade, he says, sliced into his neck but just missed his carotid artery.
He and two other men, police say, were stabbed on a Portland commuter train when they confronted a man who’d directed a racially and religiously tinged tirade at two African-American teenagers, one of whom is Muslim and was wearing a hijab.
Fletcher offers a simple explanation for why he stepped in.
“It was the right thing to do,” Fletcher, 21, told CNN affiliate KPTV on Tuesday. “I’m not a hero, nobody special. I’m a kid from Portland.”
Take notice, he says: People need to stand up for one another.
“If you live here, move here, or if you want to call this city home, it is your home,” he told ABC News. “And we must protect each other like that is the truth, no matter what the consequences.”
“The Muslim community, especially in Portland, needs to understand that there are a lot of us that are not going to stand by and let anybody — whether they are from here or not — scare you into thinking you can’t be a part of this town, this city, this community, or this country,” he told ABC.
Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, was arrested on suspicion of injuring Fletcher and fatally stabbing the two other men, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Ricky John Best, during Friday’s confrontation.
Fletcher — a long, freshly sutured wound visible on his neck — watched from the front row as Christian made an initial court appearance in a Portland courtroom on Tuesday.
In his interview with KPTV, Fletcher choked up when he spoke about the two men who died.
“I want the families of those two men (to know) that their children are heroes. They will always be loved in the eyes of this city,” he said.
Portland’s public buses and trains will stop at noon Friday for a moment of silence to honor Namkai-Meche, Best and Fletcher, the city’s TriMet transportation service said.