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Carmichael’s Spencer Stone is humble hero in new DOD video

French President Francois Hollande shakes hands with Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University in California, while U.S. Airman Spencer Stone looks on as they leave the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, after Hollande awarded them with the French Legion of Honor on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. Hollande pinned the Legion of Honor medal on Sadler, Stone, and their years-long friend Alek Skarlatos, who took down a heavily armed man on a passenger train speeding through Belgium on Friday, Aug. 21.
French President Francois Hollande shakes hands with Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University in California, while U.S. Airman Spencer Stone looks on as they leave the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, after Hollande awarded them with the French Legion of Honor on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. Hollande pinned the Legion of Honor medal on Sadler, Stone, and their years-long friend Alek Skarlatos, who took down a heavily armed man on a passenger train speeding through Belgium on Friday, Aug. 21. AP

Carmichael’s Spencer Stone describes in a Department of Defense interview the actions he and friends took that helped thwart possible carnage aboard a Paris-bound train.

And, also, if Hollywood ever wants to portray the brave Airman 1st class Stone, he wants leading man to play his part.

“I would hope it would be Denzel Washington, but I don’t think that would go over so well,” said Stone, who is much younger and does not resemble actor to a great degree.

Stone and his friends Alek Skarlatos, a 22-year-old member of the Oregon National Guard, and Anthony Sadler, 23, a Sacramento State student, foiled what French officials called a planned terrorist attack on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris.

The three were traveling together through Europe after Skarlatos finished a tour of duty in Afghanistan. They received medals of the Legion of Honor, France's highest decoration for the valor they exhibited on the train Friday.

Stone was the first to sprint down the aisle to attack a gunman holding an AK-47 who had already shot a person on board the train. He suffered a bad cut to his thumb in the tussle with the alleged terrorist who was also armed with a handgun and box cutter.

In the video, Stone appears relaxed and in good spirits, if a bit overwhelmed by the attention. Before getting on the train, the trio got a bite to eat at Burger King and took a city train to Amsterdam Central train station.

“We sat down and got comfortable and about an hour later, I’m asleep with my headphones on and my friend Alek is sitting to the left of me, my friend Anthony is sitting to the right across the cabin.

I wake up and see Alek moving around and saying, ‘Oh, crap, Oh, crap.’ I turn around and see the guy with the AK and he’s pointing it up trying to recharge it to load another round… My friend Alek said ‘Go get ‘em.’”

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He recounted the charge down the aisle and ensuing struggle:

“I got up and sprinted at him. It was a long sprint. It felt like slow motion. I heard him charge it a couple of more times. It still wasn’t working. I hit ‘em. Felt like we ended up on the ground… I felt for the gun and couldn’t find it. He kept taking it away. I put him in a rear naked choke (hold) to protect myself. My friend Alek came up and took the AK.”

Skarlatos started hitting the man with the assault rifle, and the man pulled out a handgun. The pistol was pried from his hand but Stone was to quickly be cut with the box cutter.

“I leaned over his shoulder and see that he has about a 6-inch box cutter blade. Then I look at my thumb and it is hanging half-way off.”

The three men from the Sacramento area then “started pounding him…I just choked him out until he was unconscious while my friend was hitting him in the face with the gun.”

His work was not done. Stone, a medic, helped save a man shot by the now unconscious gunman.

“I ran over there, took my shirt off, but realized my shirt was not going to do it. So I stuck my finger in his neck, found what I thought was the artery and pressed down until the bleeding stopped.”

The attention is fine, but he is a humble hero.

“It feels real good, I can’t lie, but, I don’t know how to word this, I don’t want to get a big head about it.”

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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