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Jobless, Homeless Veterans Save Gary Wagner, Ohio Man, From Robbery Attack

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David Hale, a formerly homeless vet and Chad McClain, a veteran who is currently homeless, saved Gary Wagner from a robbery in Cincinnati.
David Hale, a formerly homeless vet and Chad McClain, a veteran who is currently homeless, saved Gary Wagner from a robbery in Cincinnati.

CINCINNATI -- A homeless man and another who was recently homeless are being hailed as heroes for coming to the aid of a man who was being robbed in downtown Cincinnati.

Gary Wagner was being attacked at an ATM when the two men intervened and wrestled him free, police said. One of them stayed with Wagner while the other ran after the suspect and stood in front of his car until officers arrived.

"I think it was a courageous and unselfish act," said Cincinnati police Capt. Gary Lee. "It's a perfect example of what can happen when the citizens and police work in partnership."

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that both men are military veterans who didn't know each other before the Monday encounter. David Hale just got off the streets, and Chad McClain -- who ran after the suspect -- is living at a shelter.

Both men said they hope anyone else would do the same.

"I was compelled to do something," said McClain, 38. "I just couldn't stand by and see somebody be victimized. I didn't really think about myself."

The 46-year-old Hale said his "instincts kicked in at the right time." He added that he understands that people get desperate: "There are other ways to reach out and get help (than) turning to crime and hurting another individual."

Wagner, 54, said he wants to do something to help the two men who helped him.

The 45-year-old suspect, Louis Stevenson, was being held Thursday on $250,000 bond in Hamilton County Jail on charges of robbery and obstruction. A message was left for his attorney.

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