Centerville man recognized for confronting suspect, helping teen in mallet attack

The Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office awarded John Treon of Centerville with the 2021 Champion of Children Award. Photo courtesy the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office.
The Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office awarded John Treon of Centerville with the 2021 Champion of Children Award. Photo courtesy the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office.

A Centerville man who confronted another man who was attacking a teenage girl with a mallet was awarded the 2021 Champion of Children Award.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. on Tuesday announced John Treon as the winner of the award, which recognizes someone who helped protect a child or has done work protecting children in the community.

ExplorePolice: Neighbor’s arrival halts mallet attack of teen girl in Centerville park

Treon heard a 17-year-old girl’s screams Sept. 24, 2020, when Johnny Hansen attacked her with a mallet on the Iron Horse Park trail in Centerville. Treon confronted and yelled at Hansen, who then fled. Treon helped the injured girl, Jemma Manley, to his home and called 911. She was taken to a local hospital, where she received nearly 100 stitches on her head, the prosecutor said.

“John didn’t stop and consider the danger he might be placing himself in by confronting a younger and much larger man who had a weapon. He only knew that a young girl was being brutally attacked and needed help,” Heck said. “Anyone willing to run towards and confront such a large weapon‐wielding individual is very brave. This is what a true Champion of Children does.”

ExploreMan gets 15 years in mallet attack of teen at Centerville park

A Montgomery County grand jury in October indicted Hansen on six charges, including felonious assault, kidnaping and tampering with evidence. He pleaded guilty to all counts and in April was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison, according to court records.

John Treon of Centerville, right, is the recipient of the 2021 Champion of Children Award, who stands with Jemma Manley, the victim of a brutal assault by a man with a mallet; and Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. Treon confronted Manley's attacker and helped her to his home nearby and called 911.
John Treon of Centerville, right, is the recipient of the 2021 Champion of Children Award, who stands with Jemma Manley, the victim of a brutal assault by a man with a mallet; and Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. Treon confronted Manley's attacker and helped her to his home nearby and called 911.

Credit: Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office

Credit: Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office