'You have to keep in mind I didn't realize they had a knife at the time'

'You have to keep in mind I didn't realize they had a knife at the time' »Play Video
Aaron Duchateau

EUGENE, Ore. - Two men attacked Aaron Duchateau as he walked to his car last weekend, demanding his wallet.

"I had to make a quick choice," he said, "to defend myself or to cower and hand my wallet over."

Before Duchateau could decide, one of the two men hit him in the head, so he stood his ground.

As he fought the men in the middle of Olive Street, Duchateau said he eventually got the upperhand.

"I ended up grabbing him by his coat and lifting him off the ground and climbed on top of him," he said.

The men ran away.

And Duchateau discovered he had been stabbed twice. His lung collapsed, landing him the hospital.

Duchateau has worked downtown for years and said he still feels safe but thinks there has been an increase in the level of harrassment.

"A difference in the aggression level of the people who kind of live down there," he said.

Some people who visit downtown Eugene share the same concerns.

"I have heard stories of people having problems in parking structures at night," said Paula Habert, who takes classes at Lane Community College. "I would never go anywhere alone downtown."

"I think a lot of people in the area are responding by taking concealed weapons classes," said Suzanne Penegor, who works for LCC downtown. "I haven't done that but I am considering maybe doing it."

Duchateau said he doesn't regret stadning up for himself.

He still has his wallet.

And some folks have called what he did heroic, which surprises him.

"You have to keep in mind I didn't realize they had a knife at the time," he said from his hospital bed, "so it seems more heroic than it actually is."