John Parks

Bennett Roth, 69, was walking after nightfall along a six-lane street in Washington, District of Columbia, on Jan. 11, 2024, when a vehicle stopped beside him and multiple people in ski masks and dark clothing exited. One man pointed a handgun at Roth as he backed up and was shoved to the ground. Roth shouted for help as he was held at gunpoint and the assailants ordered him to stay still. Across the street with friends was Washington housing development manager John Parks, 26, who saw the start of the assault and two of the assailants hovering over Roth. Unarmed, Parks shouted at the assailants and darted around traffic to make his way to the scene. Despite seeing that two of the attackers had handguns pointed at Roth, Parks continued to shout and approach Roth. They pointed their guns at him, but Parks continued to advance anyway. The assailants then backed away and returned to the vehicle to flee. The vehicle sped away from the scene and Parks’ group flagged down an approaching police officer after they called 911. Police are still investigating the incident. Roth had scratches and scrapes from the attack but recovered. Parks was not injured.