A Bakersfield man is one of five finalists nominated to receive the 2019 Citizens Medal of Honor from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
Blaine Hodge is the man who very likely and single-handedly saved the life of a Bakersfield woman during a domestic violence incident at a local Starbucks.
It happened on Sept. 9.
The woman rushed into the coffee shop screaming about a man who was trying to kill her.
Seconds later, that man accused, Robert Rivas, entered the Starbucks on Stockdale Highway, armed with a machete and attacked the woman. But seconds later, Hodge intervened, throwing Rivas away from the woman.
Rivas then attacked Hodge, who suffered severe stab wounds and lacerations to his hands, stomach and leg.
CHP officers arrived and eventually took Rivas into custody.
Hodge was hospitalized for several days and is still recovering from his wounds.
17 News has learned that Blaine Hodge is now one of five finalists in line to receive the Citizens Honor Award for heroism from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
Hodge’s heroic actions came at a personal cost, however. He still hasn’t regained full function in his right hand. He has nerve damage from the stab wounds to both hands and left leg and he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.
“I’m honestly really grateful and I think it’s really powerful and important that they’re taking the time to celebrate the right things,” Hodge said. “I saw something posted Monday that said we’re one of the most dangerous cities and stuff, but we have some positive stuff too.”
“I think it’s really powerful and important that they’re taking the time to celebrate the right things,” he said.
Even with all that, he maintains a positive outlook on life and is pursuing his career as a hip-hop artist.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society will announce the recipients of the Citizen Honors Award on March 25 in Washington, D.C.
The finalists are selected from a pool of over 100 nominees from across the country for their individual acts of heroism in 2018.