Marine saves man from being stabbed in Lancaster

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Joshua Escandon and his wife, Ashley, were on their way to lunch in Lancaster when Escandon intervened in an assault on Feb. 19, 2012.

LANCASTER – Two alleged gang-affiliated brothers are in jail awaiting trial on a host of charges, including assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder, for beating up a man in a Lancaster convenience store last month.

The attack could have gotten much worse, and may have even turned deadly, if not for the quick action of a local Marine, who disarmed and fought off the attackers. For his act of bravery, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Joshua Escandon was commended by his command staff and profiled on the United States Department of Defense website. Read the article below (reprinted with permission):

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Joshua Escandon was going to lunch in Lancaster with his wife [Feb. 19] when his instincts kicked in because he heard a woman screaming for help.

He stepped out of his car and immediately knew something was not quite right. He scanned his surroundings and spotted a commotion involving a group of people.

When Escandon heard a woman yelling, “They are going to kill him! Help him!” he knew he had to take action.

The radio operator with 3rd Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Company ran toward the crowd, where he was blocked by onlookers from what appeared to be a fight.

“Everyone was watching, but nobody was helping,” said Escandon, who returned from a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan in December. “Like Marines look out for each other in combat, we have to protect our fellow man too and stop letting stuff like this happen, or it will just happen more.”

As he wove his way through the crowd, Escandon saw a man being kicked and punched by two others. One of the men was holding what appeared to be a sword, Escandon said. He later learned from the Lancaster Sheriff’s Department that the two men were gang-affiliated, and that their weapon was a cane-sword — a cane that incorporates a concealed blade.

Escandon said he felt compelled to intervene and didn’t care if he was going to get hurt. He disarmed the aggressor with the cane-sword, while the man who was being beaten got to his feet and fought off the second aggressor. Escandon said he had one of the aggressors in a choke hold until he heard police sirens approaching. He let the man go, and the two aggressors fled. They were arrested later not far from the scene.

The lance corporal suffered only minor nicks and scratches on his hands. The attack victim had a cut above his eye that required stitches, as well as other minor cuts.

The police report said the two suspects were gang-affiliated brothers who were seeking retribution against owners of a store for banning them from the shop. Claiming that the suspects had threatened their lives, the store owners had called police that day. When the suspects returned, the situation escalated to a heated exchange of words, the sheriff’s report said.

A bystander carrying a cane-sword told the two men they needed to leave, police said, holding the sword portion of the cane behind his back so the suspects would not see it. But one of the suspects noticed the weapon and attacked the witness.

Escandon arrived shortly after one of the suspects grabbed the sword from the victim as the other was stomping on his head and torso and prevented the suspects from further injuring their victim, the report said.

Marine Corps Master Sgt. Yaphet Grimes, company communications chief and Escandon’s staff noncommissioned officer in charge, commended the lance corporal for his actions to break up the assault.

“He’s an outstanding and good-to-go Marine,” said Grimes, an 18-year veteran. “He’s always going to get the job done, and every time he performs the job, he’s going to give his 100 percent.”

Editor’s Note
: Brothers Robert Allen, 23, and Darius Lyn Allen, 21, of Lancaster were arrested shortly after the incident on February 19. Both men are in custody at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles and are facing several charges, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and criminal threats. Robert Allen is being held on $250,000 bail, while Darius Lyn Allen is being held on $820,000. Both men are due back in court on April 19 at the Antelope Valley Courthouse.

  12 comments for “Marine saves man from being stabbed in Lancaster

  1. Tom
    March 23, 2012 at 8:18 am

    It’s funny the family and friends are commenting this article about the cops and the marine, who just sent 7 months in Afghanistan, is being labeled as the liars.
    If these adult men (ages 23 and 21, they are not boys) saw a weapon being held by a bystander telling them to leave, why did they not walk away? The fact is the store owner told them not to come back earlier that day, and had already called the police on them that day. BUT these ‘good boys (aka men)’ returned to the store. Why did they come back? Can the mom and family answer that? If they never would have come back to the store they both would not be sitting in jail right now. Period!

    • sam
      April 30, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      Escandon is not a good guy he may have saved someones life but he also destroyed another life. he is a rapist, he raped a 17 year old girl, and threatened her not to say anything, years later she is still living in fear. if anything this guy shouldnt be praised but paying for his actions in prison!

      • ...
        May 10, 2012 at 7:24 am

        Sam thanks, for that bit of info. This guy is shaming that uniform. Please let the young lady know I am sorry for her and that she can still file charges on this thug. Wonder if his wife knows about this?

      • barny
        August 14, 2012 at 6:01 pm

        How do you know the marine raped someone. Who was it, where, when? This information should be given to the police.

  2. Rushing
    March 22, 2012 at 10:54 am

    You can not believe everything that is printed, this story is not the true account of what happened. The Marine as well as the store owners should be punished for Perjury. The alleged gang members did not have weapons. If the woman yelling felt so threatened why did she come out the store to confront them. They were defending their lives against the man with sword and the 12 inch knife the marine put to his brothers throat. They were leaving when they had weapons pulled on them. This Marine is a disgrace, hiding behind his uniform to cover up a lie!!!. One of these young men had a job and the other waiting to finish hi externship in the medical field. The Marine with the knife and the man that pulled the sword from his cane should have been charged with attempted murder . One of the brothers was injured and had to have sutures in the ER trying to defend his life. Just another example of rogue cops and citizens that believe what is printed without the facts. Look into it for your self then make an informed comment.

  3. Ariadne
    March 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Not that the marine was helping the two defendants but that he helped others attack them. The cane sword belonged to someone attacking them, they were unarmed until they took the weapons from the people attacking them.

  4. Ariadne
    March 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I heard a very different version of this story- that the two men were being bullied by the store owners, that the marine lied during testimony and tried to “help out” the two men. They are not gang affiliated according to their parents and the weapons belonged to the “good samaritans” who interfered in their being profiled by the owners of the smoke shop. It’s really a shame when men are profiled because of their race or wearing a hoodie.

    You might try finding the parents of these boys and asking for their side of the story. According to the parents, there was a lot of lying in court going on, including the purported “gang” affiliation.

    • jason
      March 22, 2012 at 12:36 am

      How many times have we heard the parents go on about there being no gang affiliation? How many parents honestly know whether or not their kids are involved in gangs or not?

    • Stinger
      March 22, 2012 at 6:56 am

      Ariadne, if the two men were ‘being bullied,’ as you suggest, then why didn’t they leave and/or call for the Sheriff’s Department?

      • Rushing
        March 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

        they were leaving when the by stander pulled out a sword and they feared for their lives and defended them selves. What would you do? The Marine stated he did not know they were alleged gang members til the Sheriff told him but that is not what he said under oath!!!!!

        • Stinger
          March 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm

          Very well. I did note in the story that the weapon in question was NOT brought by the suspects, but by another person. Therefore, I do still have questions about the veracity of the story as given. I do hope that this news site will be so kind as to keep us posted on further information as it is found.

          • Blessed and Highly favored
            April 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm

            My question is if the suspects were outside the store on public property with no weapons, just having words with the store owners, howger? did some homeless guy know that the owners were in any danger? They had no weapons so where is the intent? Why not call the police and tell them which way they went after all they were on foot!!
            Why not get a description, why pull out a sword? And the Marine jumping in and not knowing the full story pulls a weapon too!!!! come on now innocent until proven guilty. You reap what you sow so all liars will pay for their actions!!!

            If the store owners have video of them inside the store then you can see the actions of all involved no sound but body language speaks for itself. Maybe the store owners should post a sign NO BLACKS ALLOWED,because they sound very racist from what i’ve heard.

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