ABC News’ Linzie Janis reports:
A former marine who was brutally beaten while trying to save a teen who was being bullied said it was all in the line of duty and said he would do it again if duty calls.
“You know doing the right thing is always the right thing,” said Wen Jones, 43.
Jones is speaking out for the first time about the brutal beat-down caught on camera back in May.
Jones’ instinct to protect kicked into overdrive when he stumbled upon three men bullying 14-year-old Zion Wright on Florida’s Juno Beach.
“Everything kind of escalated very quickly and all of a sudden I was kind of in the middle of a melee,” said Jones. “It was not just a situation i could just walk past.”
Wright’s own father said he tried to help.
“I see that these guys were not backing down, and I literally had to keep them at bay, and then I looked up and here was Mr. Jones,” Wright’s father, Leroy Wright.
Before he knew it, Jones was taking the brunt of the attack and fell unconscious.
Once police showed up, the suspects, Eric Deiter, Tyler Carswell and Cody Roon fled the scene.
Jones was sent to the hospital with a broken eye bone and had to get multiple stitches across his face.
“He deserves a purple heart. If he didn’t receive a purple heart when he was in the military serving, he deserves one now, because he’s a true Samaritan,” said Leroy Wright.
All three suspects have been arrested and charged with aggravated battery. Those charges have since been upgraded to felonies because Jones’ injuries were so severe.