Lisbon man gets award of valor for aiding knife attack victim

Posted Sept. 07, 2012, at 8:40 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 10, 2012, at 7:51 p.m.

LISBON, Maine — Police Chief David Brooks honored a Lisbon man last week with an award for helping a woman who was being attacked by a man with a knife in a parked car last year.

During his struggle to help Jennifer Alexander, John Clark suffered a knife wound to his shoulder. Both the woman and Clark recovered from their injuries.

The “Award of Valor By a Citizen” came at the beginning of Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting, as Clark’s family and friends watched from the front row of the meeting room.

Clark stood quietly with his hands folded beside the podium as the chief read the words engraved on a plaque that described the attack and Clark’s courageous response.

The Feb. 27, 2011, attack began when Alexander was giving her estranged boyfriend, Leein A. Hinkley, a ride. Hinkley is the father of their child, who was in the back seat. The couple had been together for five years, but Alexander had tried to end the relationship.

As described on the plaque, Hinkley threw Alexander’s cellphone out the window and began punching her. She pulled into Clark’s driveway so she could get out of the car, but Hinkley continued his attack, this time with a pocket knife.

Hearing her screams from inside his home, Clark went to her rescue and helped her get out of the car, but he suffered a knife wound. Hinkley fled the scene after Clark made a 911 call.

Chief Brooks said Wednesday that Hinkley is serving a 15-year sentence at the state prison for the attack.

The plaque Clark received says the award is given “to a member of the community for a selfless and-or courageous act taken at a risk of their own lives with full awareness of the danger involved.

“Without question, your quick and decisive action in the face of extremely dangerous conditions saved a life that, without your intervention, would have most certainly been lost.

“The Lisbon Town Council, the men and women of the Lisbon Police Department and the citizens of Lisbon, Maine, join in expressing their gratitude and thanks for a job well done.”

It was the second award Clark has received for his actions, Brooks said, noting that Clark is “not the type of person who seeks the limelight.” Earlier in the year he received a similar award from the Maine Chiefs of Police Association.

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