A man was stabbed early Sunday in Vancouver after he stopped a group of men from assaulting a woman and her neighbor.
Delrick Hardcastle, 33, went through the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant in the 2600 block of General Anderson Avenue. He parked his motorcycle and stopped to talk to an acquaintance, Kayleisha Hardiman, 34, who was also getting food with a group of friends.
Hardiman, who lives nearby, started to walk home on General Anderson with her neighbor. As they were walking, a vehicle full of men described as possible gang members drove up beside them and started to accost Hardiman, commenting on her appearance and propositioning her. Hardiman said she got upset and started yelling back at them. "They just seemed like they were looking for trouble."
Four or five guys got out of the vehicle and started to encircle Hardiman and her male neighbor, whom they started to beat up.
"I said, 'Well, I can't sit by and let that happen,'" Hardcastle said.
He drove over to the group on his motorcycle, intending to make sure Hardiman and her neighbor got home safely. The men, however, yelled obscenities at him and kicked over his motorcycle before one man swung at him and they started to fight. Hardcastle had brought one of the men to the ground, when he was stabbed in the back by another man with a 9- or 10-inch combat knife. Hardcastle stood up and another guy punched him. He brought that man to the ground.
Hardiman, meanwhile, was able to escape into the home of a witness.
The stabbing was reported to Vancouver police at 2:25 a.m., a few blocks north of the restaurant. When Hardcastle could hear sirens, all of the attackers jumped back into their vehicle and drove off. Three police cars passed Hardcastle, who was holding a T-shirt to the stab wound on his lower left back.
"I'm all right. I've been stabbed before. I know how to make a tourniquet," he said, citing 11 years of prior military experience.
A fourth patrol car was waved down by a passerby, and Hardcastle was transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where his wound was stapled. The knife missed his kidney and spine by a couple of inches, Hardcastle was told by physicians.
Hardiman visited him in the hospital and is grateful he came to her aid. "I don't really know what would have happened if he didn't," she said. "I just hate that he went through everything that he went through."
After Hardcastle was released, he discovered that his motorcycle, a 2005 Suzuki GSXR 750, was left near the crime scene and stolen overnight. Someone apparently drove by and loaded the bike into a truck.
Although he's upset about how things turned out, he knows he did the right thing.
"I don't like standing by and watching other people get bullied, especially women," he said.Hardcastle missed a week's school while injured. At the beginning of July, he moved from North Carolina to attend the International Air and Hospitality Academy in Vancouver, hoping to someday become a hotel manager.