62-year-old man beaten to death in downtown Denver honored for saving teen's life

Posted at 9:05 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 00:34:49-04

DENVER -- A 62-year-old man is being remembered for a selfless act during the last moments of his life. James Farmer Jr. was beaten to death when he stepped in to help two teens in downtown Denver.

Farmer was honored during a memorial service where the teens and their families remembered him as a hero.

The teens were walking in the area of 24th Street and Curtis on June 16 when a homeless man began attacking them. Eighteen-year-old Aidan Brown's injuries were so severe he had to get staples in his head and was left unconscious.

"He surely would’ve died had he not intervened," said Wes Brown, Aidan's dad.

Farmer was sleeping in his car when the attack happened. He stepped in and the suspect, DeJuan Stamps, began beating him.

"No one is surprised that he stepped in the way he did, which I found amazing and I wish I could thank him personally," said Brown.

Farmer and Stamps were both homeless. The attack happened near the Saint Francis Center, where Farmer would go to get help during the day. Stamps was banned from the center for his behavior.

Staff members at Saint Francis knew Farmer well and said he was always willing to help others.

"That it was something that we weren’t surprised to hear that James had done, that as a veteran that he took helping people seriously, and he was the kind of person that would step in," said Andrew Spinks, Development Director for the Saint Francis Center.

He said Farmer was in Denver trying to find work and his family lives in Seattle. According to Spinks, Farmer was trying to get back on his feet and planned to get married soon.

Since the deadly attack, the Saint Francis Center has received a lot of inquiries from people in the community who want to help.

"It’s a tragic story all the way around and we’re hoping something is positive can come out of it. We’ve had a a lot of people contact us that are interested in volunteering and giving back and donating, and hopefully that part is the silver lining to a very sad story," said Spinks.

The teen's dad said he is making a full recovery and doing well.