Family, neighbor seeking justice after Moline stabbing

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MOLINE, Illinois-- A Moline man said he's lucky to be alive after being stabbed multiple times Monday night.

"It's scary," 44-year-old John Hebert said. "I don't want to live here anymore. I want to move."

He said he went outside his apartment on 4th Street after his wife said she saw someone suspicious from their balcony.

"I just got this uneasy feeling like something wasn't right," Leesa Hebert said.

She said the man hid in the bushes after they made eye contact.

Leesa went the store with their son. John headed outside.

John said he called out to the man and he was soon shouting and heading towards him.

"Oh, it was just instant. And it happened so quick," he said. "And I fell. And he that's when he started stabbing me."

The suspect, later identified as 26-year-old Joseph Ramos, slashed John in his face, neck, arm and side.

Luckily, John's brother was walking down the sidewalk and scared the attacker away with a brick. But Ramos soon drove by in what police said was a stolen car. John said Ramos headed straight for the pair. Police said Ramos was just trying to get away.

"My brother was trying to pull me out of the way, but I was covered in so much blood, he said I was just slipping out of his hands," John said.

Meanwhile, Leesa saw cops cars speeding by on the way to the store. She said her heart just sank and she hurried home.

"I got out of the car, and that's when I see him and the blood and I thought he was dead," she said.

Police later arrested Ramos several blocks away. He's charged with aggravated battery and possession of stolen property.

It took a few days before the Heberts found out why Ramos was outside their apartment in the first place.

"This isn't the first occurrence with [Ramos]. But nothing this drastic," said Christina Johnson, the Heberts' neighbor.

Johnson said she and Ramos have a son together, but as part of their custody agreement, he's not supposed to show up at her residence without 24-hours notice.

"I just thought it was a coincidence that he was here, not that he was here for me," she said. "Pieces were just coming together. It took a couple days. By Wednesday, I got a message from Leesa and that was the last piece of the puzzle."

Johnson said if John hadn't confronted Ramos first, he could have found her and harmed her, her children or her unborn baby.

"I don't think there's any way I can repay the guy. John saved my life," she said.

Now, the Heberts and Johnson said they're working to get justice.

"I don't feel aggravated battery is enough," Leesa said. "I don't. I seriously don't. Not only for us but for her [Johnson]."

The Heberts said they want Ramos charged with attempted murder.

"He stole a car," John explained. "They can't prove anything, his intentions. But he's not allowed around her. He stole a car, had a change of clothes and a knife. If that doesn't prove motive, I don't know what does."

John said he wouldn't change what he did that night, but he said life isn't the same now.

"I'm paranoid. I go out on the deck, I'm paranoid. I'm looking around," he said.

Leesa said their 5-year-old son didn't want to go up to his dad when he first got home from the hospital.

"Everybody who knows Trevor and John know they are like two peas in a pod," she said. "[Trevor] didn't even want to go near him. He said, 'Your face is dirty. I don't like how your face looks.'"

Leesa and John said they haven't slept well since the attack, and they want to move out of their apartment. Johnson said she also wants to move.

For now, the Heberts are working with the state's attorney's office to get higher charges filed against Ramos.

They're accepting donations to help pay for a lawyer and moving expenses.

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