One of two teenaged girls who was rescued by two men from a deadly assailant shared her heartfelt gratitude for the two men who saved her life. On Friday, a man identified as Jeremy Joseph Christian (35) is alleged to have confronted Destinee Mangum (16) and a 17-year-old Muslim girl on a MAX train in Portland, Oregon. The Muslim girl was wearing traditional Muslim garb, according to The Oregonian when Christian allegedly began verbally abusing her and Mangum.
When two men, identified as Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, sought to intervene, Christian allegedly stabbed both of them to death. Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, also intervened but survived the attack. President Trump tweeted today that the attack was “unacceptable.”
The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.— President Trump (@POTUS) May 29, 2017
Interviewed by Fox affiliate KPTV, Mangum tearfully said in the aftermath that she wanted “to say thank you to the people who put their life on the line for me, because they didn’t even know me.”
Mangum said, “They lost their lives because of me and my friend and the way we looked.” Mangum continued, “I just want to say thank you to them and their family, and I appreciate them, because without them we probably would be dead right now.”
Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland paid tribute to Namkai-Meche and Best, “They were attacked because they did the right thing” He added, “Their actions were brave and selfless and should serve as an example and inspiration to us all.”
Christian has a considerable criminal record, having been convicted of felonies in the past. According to Portland police spokesman Pete Simpson, Christian had been “ranting and raving.” He was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree kidnapping in 2002 after allegedly holding up a convenience store with a gun. Police were able to subdue him when he made a suicide attempt during the arrest.
According to Mangum, Christian told the two girls to leave the United States and “go back to Saudi Arabia.”
“He was just telling us that we basically weren’t anything and that we should kill ourselves,” Mangum said.
Mangum and her companion had decided to leave their seats and move to a different area on the train when the three rescuers arrived and confronted Christian. Christian was taken to jail on Saturday and was charged with two counts of aggravated murder, one of attempted murder, and two counts of intimidation in the second degree.
Various media outlets have labeled Christian a supporter of Donald Trump and a "white supremacist." His social media posts, however, proclaim his support of Sen. Bernie Sanders' failed presidential bid, well as a number of anti-Semitic, nihilist, and anarchist causes. He also expressed support for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. On April 29, he was ejected from a free speech rally by Trump supporters because of his use of racist epithets. Police were called to keep him away from free speech supporters.