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71-year-old Vietnam veteran from Davenport fights off attacker

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -  A Vietnam veteran from Davenport, Iowa was able to fend off an attacker.  He says it's instincts from his Army days that kicked in.

71-year-old Joe Henson likes to do some gambling here and there.

"Sometimes it's fun to do, it wasn't on Friday night as it turns out," said Henson.

When he went to play at a QC Mart in Rock Island he got more than slots and video poker.

"I was standing at the machine where you cash out your tickets to get my money, I was getting ready to leave and I noticed a guy looking in the window," said Henson.

Henson thought the guy was just being nosy. So he cashed in his ticket and just as he grabbed his cash.

"That's when he opened the door and jumped me. He has his left arm over mine, but luckily I had the money in my right hand out there so he couldn't quite reach that."

They fall to the floor as Henson struggles to keep the money away from a man who he says is half his age.

"Nobody came to my aid, but that was okay because I came to my own aid," Henson said.

The veteran said his instincts kicked in.

"I can't tell you how good it felt to hit him. It just felt really good, you know, like, "You're not doing this to me." Kabam," he said.

The man ran away empty-handed and Henson has his days spent in the Army to thank for that.

"I hope he's still got a sore jaw," said Henson.

Henson says he's proud that he stood up for himself and hopes the man learns a lesson: Think twice about who you mess with.

"There's a saying about Vietnam veterans, "Don't let the gray hair fool ya. We can still kick ass," and I think I proved that," he said.

The police are still searching for the man that tried attacking Henson.