Charles F. Cangelosi
Awarded: Knight Commander’s Medal – March 8, 2013
At the 2013 Knight Commander’s Banquet, following the 75th Convention in San Antonio, William E. Dreyer presented the Knight Commander’s Medals to Charlie Cangelosi.
On November 6th, 2010 while leaving a LSU Tigers home football game in Baton Rouge, Charlie heard the desperate screams of a young lady. After investigating the screams, Charlie found they were coming from a pregnant woman who was being robbed by gunpoint near the stadium. Charlie immediately decided to take action and threw himself between the young mother-to-be and the assailant. The gunman still fired his weapon shooting a bullet through Charlie’s thumb, into his abdomen, hit a vertebra then lodged into a muscle in his back.
Charlie immediately threw himself between the young mother-to-be and the assailant. The gunman still fired his weapon.
The gunman fled the scene of the crime and while the young woman and her unborn baby were unharmed, Charlie had a major wound and was lying on the ground bleeding profusely. When the ambulance arrived Charlie’s best friend had already been doing everything he could to keep this young hero alive.
Charlie spent the next two weeks in a Baton Rouge hospital undergoing numerous surgeries. There were also multiple blood drives held in his name with over 100 attendees. Charlie received well-wishes from many, include a soldier overseas and even LSU head coach Les Miles. His story not only touched the hearts of members of the Baton Rouge community, but Charlie Cangelosi was an inspiration to people all across the state, and now our Order.
When asked if he thinks his actions were heroic, Charlie stated that, “the real hero in this situation was my friend. Without his immediate action to slow my blood loss, I definitely wouldn’t be alive today.” He also called the donors that replaced the numerous pints of blood he lost over the two weeks he spent in intensive care, heroes as well.
After graduation Charlie decided to attend Louisiana State University to pursue a master’s degree.