A Moline man stabbed on Monday is speaking out for the first time.
It’s a story you’ll only find here on Local 4 News.
John Hebert says he and his wife saw a stranger lurking behind their apartment building on Monday night.
“He had a phone and looked up at me and I just got an uneasy feeling,” Leesa says.
They say when John approached him, the man stabbed him several times and then tried to run him over.
“He was coming at me and I slipped and fell and that’s when he started stabbing me,” says John.
Moline Police have identified that man as 26-year-old Joseph Ramos.
He’s being charged with aggravated battery and possession of stolen property.
John’s brother happened to be there at the right time, scaring Ramos off with a brick and then pulling John out of the way as Ramos came speeding back towards the brothers in a white car.
“I told my brother to tell my wife and my son that I love them. Because I really thought I was going to die,” says John, choking back tears.
John’s wounds are more than skin deep.
“What a lot of people don’t understand is that when something like this happens it’s not just the wounds that have to heal; it’s emotions, PTSD I’m sure he has; he’s been a nervous wreck, he can’t sleep; every time he closes his eyes he remembers it again,” says Leesa.
“Every time I close my eyes I jump,” adds John.
Since speaking with police, the Heberts found out that Ramos was there for someone else.
“I didn’t know any of this happened all because of me,” says neighbor Christina Johnson.
Johnson says she’s been trying to avoid her ex-partner for seven years now.
“In 2012 he beat me in my apartment building,” she says.
The 24-year-old says she didn’t even know Ramos had discovered where she lived; she only found out about what happened when the Heberts called her Wednesday night.
“If it wasn’t for [John], me and my unborn child wouldn’t be here today; because if [Ramos] could do that to him, what would he have done to me?” says Johnson.
The Heberts say they don’t regret anything.
“I think it was God’s way of saving her,” says Leesa.
They just want to make sure Ramos doesn’t try something like this again.
And that means putting him behind bars for more than aggravated battery– but attempted murder.
“We feel that he should get something for having a knife, stealing a car, coming to his ex’s house, we feel that that should prove intent right there,” Leesa says.
And for Johnson, she’s grateful for the neighbor that saved her family– and her future.
“John saved my life and I owe him so much,” says Johnson.
The Heberts say they’re in contact with the state’s attorney for help getting Ramos’ charges pushed up.