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Man Knocked Rifle Away From His Head to Save Beating Victim

March 6, 1992

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A 36-year-old man who knocked a rifle away from his head in a rescue of a woman being beaten by her son was one of 17 people cited for heroism by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

″Something I was taught as a kid was that when someone’s in danger you help them,″ Franklin Simon said.

The commission announced the heroism honors Thursday. It has cited 7,621 people in the United States and Canada since it was founded in 1904 by Pittsburgh industrialist Andrew Carnegie.

Simon, from Doylestown near Philadelphia, was driving home from work on April 20, 1990, when he saw the 63-year-old woman clinging to her purse as her 24-year-old son struck her on the head.

He stopped, confronted the man and led the woman away. But the man reappeared with a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle, pointed it at Simon’s forehead and said, ″I’m going to blow your head off.″

Simon knocked the rifle away just before it fired, lodging a bullet in the sole of his own tennis shoe. The bullet missed his foot. He grabbed the woman and ran around a corner to call police.

″I thought, ’If I don’t do anything I’m going to die,‴ he said.

The woman’s son returned and threatened another passer-by. Simon tackled him and held him down for about five minutes until police arrived.

The son spent about a year in jail.

Each Carnegie hero, or a survivor, receives $2,500, a certificate and a medal. The commission cites heroes several times each year.

Others recognized by the commission were:

-Matthew Kupec, 19, of North Royalton, Ohio, crawled across a frozen lake to save two boys who had fallen through the ice on March 16, 1991.

-Michael Tromp, 30, of Buford, Ga., helped save a neighbor from his burning mobile home on Feb. 12, 1991.

-Cory Neufeld, 19, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, helped save a 12-year-old girl who fell in the Red River near the St. Andrews Lock and Dam in Lockport, Manitoba, on June 17, 1990.

-Cheryl Iben, 36, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, crawled through smoke to rescue a 4-year-old boy from his family’s burning house on Jan. 11, 1991.

-George Brazeale, 35, and Max E. Lee, 66, both of Lebanon, Ore., helped save a 70-year-old neighbor from her burning home on Feb. 6, 1991.

-Robert Tice, 39, of Cambridge, Ohio, rescued a 3-year-old neighbor from a bedroom in the boy’s burning home on Dec. 31, 1990.

-Guadalupe Moreno, 40, of Hawthorne, Calif., was baby-sitting when she rescued a year-old girl from her family’s burning house on Dec. 27, 1990.

-Patrick Flanagan, 47, of Fort Benton, Mont., scaled a 300-foot-high butte on the banks of the Missouri River to save an 8-year-old boy who had fallen on Sept. 11, 1989.

-Marvin De-Von Embry, 16, of Muskegon Heights, Mich., crawled through smoke to save a 3-year-old neighbor from his family’s burning house on Feb. 20, 1991.

-Arthur Calek Jr., 42, of Riverside, Ill., saved a woman who fell onto the tracks as a train approached on April 3, 1991.

-Michael Keyser, 19, of Hesperia, Calif., pulled a man from a burning car that had struck a utility pole on Feb. 25, 1990.

-Michael Stewart, 42, of Jacksonville, Fla., saved a man pulled more than 200 feet from shore by a strong current in the Atlantic on Sept. 15, 1990.

-Steve Rogers, 19, of Mount Dora, Fla., saved an 88-year-old man from his burning home on May 11, 1991.

-Larry Zimmerman, 35, of North Platte, Neb., crawled through smoke and used a rope to pull a neighbor from his burning mobile home on Feb. 2, 1991.

-Rudie Burnaman, 40, of Pineville, La., saved two children trapped in an automobile that had gone down an embankment into the Old River on May 7, 1991.

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