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Vietnam Veteran Outsmarts Armed Carjackers on Memorial Day

By Colin Fredericson

A Vietnam veteran survived an armed carjacking on Memorial Day, May 27. Fortunately, the Milwaukee resident walked away unharmed and still in possession of his car.

Saylee Vang was going out to check his front garden when what looked like a teenager ran towards him, pointing a gun, according to surveillance video obtained by Fox6 News.

Two more teenagers also ran over, Vang told Fox6, and they demanded his car keys. However, Vang appeared to calmly walk away from the teens, still holding on to his keys. The teens then took off running.

Vang started to chase them on foot, then decided to get in his car to do it, Fox6 reported. The group shot at his car and got away, but Vang was not hurt.

“Scariest thing would be losing my dad right there. I saw on the video they actually had a gun pointed at him. I’m glad he’s still here though,” Yimleej Vang, Saylee Vang’s son, told Fox6. “Very startled but he said he was in the war, Vietnam War. It doesn’t really faze him. He looked at them and said, ‘Today is not my day to go.’”

Vang is 66 years old and served in Laos, helping U.S. troops in the Vietnam War effort from 1971 to 1975, and then coming to the United States in 1979, according to Fox6.

Memorial Day Carjacking in Detroit

In Detroit, an Army veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq was carjacked coming out of a liquor store, also on Memorial Day, Fox 2 reported.

Daniel Chapman suffers from PTSD and uses a crutch for an injured leg that’s in a cast, according to Fox 2. His 2011 Black Yukon Denali XL was stolen by a thief, despite the liquor store being in a well-lit location, and part of Detroit’s green light program, which maintains direct surveillance by police.

“You know, I’m thinking about my kids, so I don’t want to end up shot on Woodward,” Chapman told Fox 2, “after I survived everything I survived.”

Chapman thought he might be able to draw on his military experience in the confrontation.

“I tried to think back to training, you know what I mean?” he told Fox 2. “The guy was quite close to me, but due to my leg, I didn’t think I was agile enough to put up a fight with him. It wasn’t worth losing my life over a vehicle.”

The vehicle also contained several things Chapman needed, he told Fox 2. He said the car contained a medical scooter, crutches, and pain pills.

He said he went to the store at 1 a.m. in the morning. He also had $18 in cash stolen, but the carjacker threw back his cell phone.

“Just got to be vigilant with your comings and goings,” Chapman told Fox 2. “I blame myself in portions. I shouldn’t have gone to the store that late at night anyway. I know better. But it was a green light, it wasn’t a dark store. I parked right at the door. It just happened so fast.”

A subsequent Fox 2 article shows still images of the suspect obtained from surveillance footage.

Chapman started a GoFundMe campaign to help with his situation. So far he has raised more than $1,400 out of a $15,000 goal.