Man deemed hero after stopping fight at weekend festival

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:19 PM CDT
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CAVE CITY, Ark. (KAIT) - A Northeast Arkansas man is being deemed a hero after he stepped in and stopped a situation some said could have been much worse.

On Saturday, July 30, a fight broke out at the annual Cave City Watermelon Festival between a 20-year-old man and 30-year-old Killian Day.

Day was accused of pulling a knife and stabbing the 20-year-old victim, who was transported to a hospital for treatment.

Those in attendance said things could have gotten out of hand if an armed bystander had not stepped in.

Henry Malensek watched as Day pulled a knife, and that’s when his instincts kicked in.

“He reached down, pulled his knife out, kind of turned around, and started stabbing,” he said

Malensek was armed with a .45 caliber handgun, which he said significantly helped de-escalate the fight.

“I just continued to grab him and hold him, and at that point, he moved, so I pulled my pistol out and never pointed it at him, held it to the ground, and said, ‘Stop! Stop! You just stabbed somebody!’ That’s when I knew it was going to be okay,” he said.

Malensek said he regularly attends the festival, adding he hated a tragic event like this had to happen at such a welcoming event.

“You would think, ‘Why would it have to happen in such a family-friendly environment?’ But then again, you have those bad apples, and this is why I always preach to my children and my friends, you know, you’ve always got to be aware in these times and days, you know it’s dangerous out here,” he said.

Day is being held in the Independence County jail on a $10,000 bond and faces a second-degree battery charge, among others.

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