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If you ever wondered if carrying a pocket knife was worthwhile, a story like this has to put it in clear focus for you.  Yes, it is worth carrying;  someone’s life may actually depend on it — a bit dramatically put, but in this case entirely true.

Golden Nozzle car wash customer John A. O’Leary was riding through the car wash when he noticed something was terribly wrong. Yards away, fighting for her life inside the car wash was 19-year-old employee Stephanie Carpluk. The lone attendant had taken a short-cut through the car rails and her scarf had become ensnared in one of the wash’s rotating mechanical brushes. The machinery had pulled the scarf tightly around her neck and was quickly strangling her. Unable to free herself, Carpluk passed out. Within seconds, O’Leary sprung from his car and pulled out a pocket knife that he was carrying and cut her free. Noticing she wasn’t breathing, he began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until Carpluk could once again breath on her own… undeniably saving the young woman’s life.

Our hats off and beers up to John, who had the foresight to carry a sharp knife with him just in case. Of course, the attendant should’ve thought better of working around large machines while wearing loose clothing around the neck — we would’ve thought that was a big, apparent no-no right from the get-go.

Hero saves car wash attendant from being strangled by Golden Nozzle [AutoBlog]


25 Responses to Why You Should Carry A Pocket Knife

  1. Mike Yancey says:

    Great story, and I agree.

    However, I usually carry the most modest of pocket-tools: the Leatherman Micra.

    Well, I had jury duty one day. I’d been through that courthouse several times with this knife / tool, but remember that it’s all up to whoever’s scanning that day. She took offense at the *scissors* on the Micra – not the knife blade!

    Couldn’t take it back to my car, because I took the train that day. So, they kept that one. Never more. Next time, I’m using my ‘children under my care’ exemption.

    Bought a new one, but I’m thinking about maybe getting one of the many other pocket knife / tool combos that are out now with so many new options (wire strippers, for example).

  2. Pete says:

    I’ve been told that the landscaped areas around the court house are a great place to look for “lost” knives. Just don’t let the guys coming back to reclaim them catch you!

  3. Joe says:

    A friend of mine claims that anytime his father was asked, “Do you have a knife?” His reply would always be, “I’ve got my pants on, don’t I!”

  4. Pony says:

    I never leave home without my leatherman. Neither does my hubby.

  5. Fabian says:

    Sorry, I have to say it..

    He might get sued for harassing the victim with his mouth since he didn’t get permission to touch her before providing help.


  6. Baron says:

    @Fabian – The Good Samaritan Law would protect this guy as he falls directly in line with everything it says. It would provide immunity from civil suit as well. There are only a very small handfuls of jurisdictions where it would not protect him

  7. Shopmonger says:

    Ok, Knives rule,,,, always a good thing to have, I dont’ “carry one” but i have one with me at all times…. one at work, one i carry in my car, and atleast a dozen or more at the house….

    For you NCIS fans RULE NUMBER 9: Always carry your knife.

  8. paganwonder says:

    We need more stories like this in the news- ordinary folk doing extrordinary things. Something to balance all the news of scoundrels doing scandalous things. Tip of the hat to you brother O’Leary, nicely done!

  9. Pencilneck says:

    As he exited the car wash, TSA agents were on hand to arrest him.

  10. tareko says:

    A few months ago I was motorbiking in not-so-sunny Spain. It had rained the night before and more rain was expected. In Serra de Gredos, I stopped on a sunny hillside. In my saddlebags I had some crackers and some “manchego” cheese. I took out my 20 year old Swiss army knife and, would you believe it?
    I sliced the cheese.
    It was one of the most pleasant moments of the journey.

  11. Rob says:

    I *always* carry a folding knife on me. That’s just how I roll.

  12. paganwonder says:

    tareko- you were able to get your SAK to cut cheese? I’ve never managed to cut anything with the SAK blade, thought it was just there as a spacer! Just kidding- the image of Spain in the rain sounds cool!

  13. Rjerryc says:

    paganwonder – maybe tareko simply meant to say that he ‘cut the cheese” while holding that SAK.

  14. jeff says:

    I often “cut the cheese” after stepping off the motorbike. No knife needed!

  15. Michael W. says:

    Having a pocketknife on me at all times is a legacy I’ve passed onto my kids. I have “working” knives and “dress” knives. It’s just how I was raised.

  16. AL says:

    It’s amazing how many people ask you why you carry a knife. When asked why I carry a knife I would respond, “Never trust anyone who doesn’t carry a pocket knife”. After saying that and if one of my good friends are next to me I will ask them if they are carrying a pocket knife? They say yes. I then tell the person who asked, “There you go.”

  17. paganwonder says:

    Has anyone else noticed that when something needs to get done or needs repair or needs jury rigging to limp back in- it’s usually the guy who carries a knife that knows how to get the job done?

  18. Shopmonger says:

    Knife carriying card members = Knowledge and power…..

  19. handymel says:

    As one of those workplace safety guys I can say the smart money is OSHA fines the carwash for the incident. Too bad common sense about not taking shortcuts and wearing loose clothing around machinery isn’t so common. Will probably be a citation on a lack of safety training for the girl.

  20. Lawrence A. Kurfiss says:

    There was a time in this great land when almost every man and boy carried a pocketknife, and were adept in their proper use. It was also a time when hardly any man went around outdoors without a hat, either a fedora or a serviceable “newsboy” type cap, NOT the turned around backwards baseball cap, the insignia of the true moron.
    I ALWAYS carry at least one knife, and find uses for them several times every day. They are better thought of as TOOLS, rather than weapons. I also encourage women to carry knifes, and get comfortable with them. They have saved many lives.

  21. Carry Knife says:

    i think the world is denger
    if i have girl friend is not pocket knife in her bag
    but you can fine “Gun” in her bag

  22. foo says:

    Careful who you tell about this. If it was in California, the penalty for a concealed knife is a felony while a concealed firearm is just a misdemeanor.

  23. Captain G says:

    How many times have I had to explain that my trusty old SAK is a tool, not a weapon? My dad never left the house without his Schrade, he was a dyed in the wool Schrade man. Sadly, I don’t think Schrade is what it used to be.

  24. Rahul says:

    I’m a physician and love carrying my pocket knife even though I never use it at work. Carrying a pocket knife is part of being a responsible gentleman. This is what my grandfather taught me.

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