Thomas “Cannibal” Cottingham: Died a Hero While Protecting a Woman and Baby

annibal Good Samaritan


On 14 September 2015 in Wilmington, Delaware, a man confronted a woman with a baby in a stroller and chased them while brandishing a large knife. The woman tried to board a DART bus to get away from the man. Thomas “Cannibal” Cottingham, a 27-year-old African-American man, intervened to protect the woman and baby. The man stabbed Mr. Cottingham in the back. Mr. Cottingham managed to separate himself from the man, but he collapsed and the man stabbed him several more times before fleeing. Police quickly made an arrest; Mr. Cottingham died in Christiana Hospital. Mr. Cottingham’s girlfriend, Tam Nickens, said about him, “He did what most people wouldn’t have the courage to do.” She added, “I almost had a panic attack. I didn’t want to believe it until I actually spoke with the detective. I feel completely lost right now.” According to police, the attacker did not know the woman. Mr. Cottingham was a popular skateboarder and rapper in Wilmington. His friend Michael Marconi said, “He went out as a true hero and a legend. Not many people would take the time out of their day to help someone out like that.” Jessica Hitchens said, “He genuinely was a good person. It’s another friend from high school being buried over the same crap out here. I hate this city. I just hate it.” Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams released this statement: “I give my condolences to both the family and loved ones of Thomas Cottingham, and pray they find solace and strength in knowing he was a hero, as he bravely risked his life to protect a fellow citizen.” Ms. Nickens said, “He will never be forgotten. He will be always loved by the family. Even though he’s not here on Earth, he’s here with us.” 

For More Information:

David Chang, “Delaware Man Dies Protecting Woman and Baby From Attacker Armed With Knife: Police.” NBC (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). 15 September 2015; updated 16 September 2015

“Winner of the 2015 Juggalo Psypher Lays Down His Life Protecting A Mother and Child.” Insane Clown Posse. 16 September 2015

Here’s an excerpt from the police report (courtesy of True Juggalo Family):

“The investigation into the circumstances and events of  last night’s homicide in the 1000 block of King Street continued into the early morning hours today. The investigation revealed that the suspect, identified as Calvin Hooker, III, 25 of Wilmington, first confronted a 21 year old female victim who was walking in the area of 10th and N. Walnut Street with her infant daughter in a stroller. The suspect approached the female and made reference to a stolen phone.The female continues to walk  in a westerly direction on 10th Street, realizing   Calvin Hooker,III, is  still behind her. Once the victim enters the 1000 block of N. King Street, Calvin Hooker,III, unprovoked, brandished a large knife and  attempted to attack the female victim  while chasing her around the bus stop located in the block.  The female victim  attempted to enter an occupied DART bus to elude the attack. A 27 year old man, identified as Thomas Cottingham, of Wilmington, intervened and tried to stop the attack of the female who was still attempting to enter the bus with her child secured in the stroller. Calvin Hooker, III,   then proceeded to stab Thomas  Cottingham in the back area.  Thomas Cottingham manages to get away approximately 30 feet where he collapses. Calvin Hooker,III, follows Thomas  Cottingham and continued to stab him several more timesin the upper torso before fleeing on foot.

“With bystander cooperation, Wilmington Police  units who had responded into the area were directed to 9th and N. Market Street where Calvin  Hooker,III, had entered a separate DART bus which was idle at the bus stop. As officers attempted to enter the bus, Calvin  Hooker,III, exits the bus. Officers observe Calvin Hooker,III, to be in possession of a large knife and issue numerous verbal commands to drop the knife. Hooker refuses and begins to flee south into the 800 block of N. Market Street into an alley way which leads to the 800 block of N. King Street. Additional officers  who had responded into the area were able to deploy a  Electronic Control Device, striking Calvin Hooker,III, causing him to drop the knife and fall to the ground where he was immediately placed into custody.

“Continued investigative efforts along with the  cooperation of Delaware Transit Cooperation investigators and numerous, cooperating concerned citizens led to the Delaware Department of Justice authorizing arrest warrants for Calvin Hooker, III for the following charges:

*Murder 1st Degree

*Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony

*Aggravated Menacing

*Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon

*Endangering the Welfare of a Child

*Resisting Arrest With Force

“Calvin Hooker,III is currently being held without bail and is to be committed to the Howard Young Correctional Facility.

“The unprovoked  attack was determined be random in nature and no relationship could be established between any of the involved persons. Thomas Cottingham , unselfishly placed himself in harm’s way, protecting a young woman and her child from immanent danger.”

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