On behalf of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, Mayor Malik D. Evans recently presented Rochester resident Darnell Wilson Jr. with the Carnegie Medal in recognition for his heroic actions to stop a robbery and potential deadly assault in 2019.
“It gives me great pride to know that this fellow Rochester citizen now stands among this esteemed group of heroes, and I am honored to present Darnell Wilson Jr. with the Carnegie Medal,” Evans said.
Wilson is among North America’s highest honored civilian heroes. Wilson received an honor from the Monroe County Legislature in January 2020.
“In a moment of crisis that could paralyze anyone with shock or fear, Darnell Wilson Jr.’s immediate instinct was to put his own life at risk to save the life of another,” said Evans.
“The Carnegie Medal was established more than 100 years ago to recognize ordinary men and women who responded to life-threatening situations with extraordinary bravery and selflessness – and this man has certainly proved himself to be worthy of that recognition.”
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission and Carnegie Medal were established in 1904 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to recognize moments of heroic valor in civilian life in the United States or Canada.
The candidate for an award must be a civilian who voluntarily risks death or serious physical injury to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the life of a person whose safety is not his or her responsibility.
There must be conclusive evidence to support the act’s occurrence, and the act must be called to the attention of the Commission within two years.
Those who are selected for recognition by the Commission are awarded the Carnegie Medal, and they, or their survivors, become eligible for financial considerations, including one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance. To date, more than 10,000 medals have been awarded.
Wilson is one of 16 individuals awarded the Carnegie Medal in 2022.
Mr. Wilson was honored for his actions in December of 2019, when he physically confronted an armed robber and likely saved the life of People’s Choice Kitchen owner Evangela Stanley. Two shots were fired during the event and Mr. Wilson pushed the assailant through the restaurant’s front window and out onto the sidewalk. The assailant lost possession of the gun and Mr. Wilson recovered it. Later, the assailant was arrested and charged with robbery and possession of the weapon.
People’s Choice Kitchen, a staple in the 19th Ward, has been owned for 18 years by Evangela Stanley (affectionately known as “Van”).
The Jamaican and soul food restaurant is widely known in the city for its “pay what you can afford” promotions, where customers are allowed to pay whatever they are able for a meal.
“Darnell Wilson and Evangela Stanley are both heroes in their own way and the city of Rochester is a better place with them in it,” said Evans.
To learn more about the Carnegie Hero Fund, visit: www.carnegiehero.org
For more City of Rochester information, visit http://www.cityofrochester.gov.