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Ohio State attack: Champaign Co. man grabbed attacker's knife

By JEREMY P. KELLEY • Nov 29, 2016 at 6:00 PM

A Champaign County native and Army veteran is recovering from surgery after being injured in Monday's attack at Ohio State.

Andy Payne, a 2006 Graham High School graduate now studying welding engineering at Ohio State, was outside Watts Hall because of a fire alarm when the attacker drove through the crowd.

“Once he let off the gas pedal and the car came to a stop, I began to take a few steps toward the car to help people who were hit by the vehicle,” Payne said. “That’s when the individual got out with a knife and he attacked someone to my right. Then he turned to attack me and I grabbed the knife with my left hand, which gave me enough time to get under his arm and away from him.”

Payne said he had surgery Monday to repair the tendons and nerves in his left hand and is now recovering at home in suburban Columbus.

The six-year Army veteran deflected any talk that he was a hero for grabbing the knife.

“I just kept him from stabbing me,” Payne said. “It wasn't like I was trying to tackle him or take him out or anything. I was just trying to keep the knife from hitting me.”

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