Two would-be robbers picked the wrong victim Sunday, and now they can watch the aftermath of their poor choice online.
John "Brandon" Shawnego, wearing a backpack that contained Father's Day presents from his children, was walking through the Tinseltown parking lot in Medford on his way to church when two homeless men tried to attack him.
Two punches later, the dazed and bloodied men were helping each other from the pavement as Shawnego pulled out his smartphone and began videotaping their plight.
"You guys tried to jump me?" the 35-year-old Shawnego demands while a bloodied Joseph Perez Knox Miyazaki, 42, groans in pain from the asphalt.
"You want me to call an ambulance?" Shawnego asks.
Medford police arrested the two assailants on disorderly conduct charges and booked them in the Jackson County Jail. Miyazaki is no longer listed in the jail. Cameron Mitchell Manning, 22, is being held in the jail without bail on charges of being a fugitive from another state because of a drug charge pending in California.
Shawnego was not charged.
"We felt that (they) were the aggressors in this incident and that the victim had a right to defend himself," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said. "He was a little proactive, I would say, in his actions, but still we felt it was a justified use of force."
Police confirmed Shawnego was en route to church when Manning approached him, asking for a cigarette. When Shawnego said he didn't have any and kept walking, Manning started yelling at him.
"I probably would have just kept walking, but I thought he was still talking to me," Shawnego said. "I didn't want to be rude."
Shawnego said when he turned around and came back, Miyazaki, with a can of beer in hand, joined Manning.
Shawnego said he asked Miyazaki whether he was going to hit him with the beer can. Miyazaki popped the tab, took a swig and said he and Manning were going to assault him, Shawnego reported to police.
"I was like, 'All right, let's go,' " Shawnego said Monday.
When he set his backpack down and Miyazaki tried to snatch it, Shawnego responded with a punch, knocking Miyazaki to the ground. Manning attacked next and also was floored by a single punch.
As both men lay dazed on the ground, with Miyazaki bleeding from the head, Shawnego's smartphone camera started rolling.
"Come on, dog, what's up? You want some more?" Shawnego can be heard asking in the video.
As a wobbly Manning helped a clearly dazed Miyazaki to his feet, Shawnego can be heard telling them they had picked on the wrong person.
Police said Shawnego's reaction was justified and didn't go overboard, despite some past run-ins with law enforcement himself.
"He didn't go from defending himself to an assault. He stopped once they stopped," Budreau said. "Just because he's made mistakes in the past doesn't mean he made a mistake in this case."
Shawnego said he will not press charges. He said he fought back to take a stand.
"I think they were just trying to intimidate me," Shawnego said.
He added that he believes God was with him that day, looking out for his safety.
This is the second time in three weeks the attackers have been lodged in jail. Police arrested Miyazaki and Manning in May for allegedly breaking into the Sparta Building on Riverside Avenue twice. Surveillance video recorded May 18 shows a burglar — believed to be Miyazaki — checking doors on the second floor before kicking one open and entering technology services company Acme Computers. Police reported about $1,700 worth of cash and repair tools went with him.
Miyazaki allegedly returned with Manning at 9:18 p.m. on May 27, breaking into Acme Computers and e-commerce program provider AAXIS Commerce. The burglars swiped $5,000 in goods, including a 50-inch television, two laptops, video-conference equipment and cash.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.