Jarring Body Cam Video Shows Firefighter Stabbing

The short video shows suspect Ryan Allen Jones lunging and stabbing San Diego Fire-Rescue Department firefighters Benjamin Vernon and Alex Wallbrett during a medical call in downtown San Diego on June 24

Jarring video showing a man stabbing two San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) firefighters was shown in a courtroom Friday during a preliminary hearing for the accused attacker.

The short, 10-second clip – captured on a body camera worn by a security guard for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) – shows the chaotic moments when suspect Ryan Allen Jones, 34, lunged at firefighters Benjamin Vernon, 37, and his partner, Alex Wallbrett, 32, on June 24 in East Village in downtown San Diego.

Several other firefighters and security guards can be seen rushing to the aid of the wounded firefighters while a guard yells out, “Cover now! Cover now! Cover now!”

The violent encounter with Jones happened while Vernon and Wallbrett were on duty responding to a medical call at a public transit station in East Village.

When officials arrived at the transit stop, Jones allegedly tried to interfere as they worked. After officials pushed Jones away, he became enraged, pulled out a knife and charged at Vernon. Wallbrett rushed to his partner’s aid and was also stabbed.

Vernon suffered two stabs wound and a collapsed lung while Wallbrett sustained stab wounds. Both firefighters survived the attack and were hospitalized.

Upon being released from the hospital, Vernon and Wallbrett said they were “damn proud” to work for SDFD despite the traumatic event. Both men said they looked forward to returning to work.

At least eight witnesses were slated to take the stand at Jones’ preliminary hearing, which was expected to last much of Friday.

The first witness was MTS security guard Angel Garcia, who was assigned to the Park and Imperial transit stop downtown on the day of the attack. He said he was called to assist an intoxicated man and Jones was at the scene trying to calm down that man.

The guard said he asked Jones to back away from the man so guards could call in medical help. After several requests, Jones allegedly refused to step back.

Garcia said his partner then called for medical assistance and firefighters arrived. Garcia said firefighters also asked Jones to step back, but again, he refused to listen.

Garcia said a fire captain and his MTS partner pushed Jones back, and Jones tripped and fell over a bench. When he got up, Garcia said Jones began throwing punches and then lunged towards Vernon and Wallbrett, who were standing nearby.

Jones faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Vernon and Wallbrett are expected to testify in the preliminary hearing Friday afternoon.

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