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2015 Man of the Year: Cody Pines

Cody Pines / YouTube
• December 31, 2015 2:00 pm

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Many of us like to believe if we witnessed injustice take place in front of us, we would have the character and bravery to step up and do the right thing even if no one else does. Cody Pines believed that. He believed that if a bully was picking on someone in front of him, as he had seen in countless videos on YouTube, things would go down differently.

Some of us fail to live up to the standard we set for ourselves. When the opportunity to do good presents itself, some shrink and fade into the background. Pines is not like some others, however. He is a hero.

When Pines saw his classmate Nathan Sparn beating up a visually impaired student, he stepped up and put an end to it. Pines threw one crushing punch to Sparn’s face and sent him to the ground. Almost instantly, Pines went over to check if the partially blind student was all right.

The Huntington Beach High School student did not stop there—he gave Sparn a warning that Sparn is sure to take to heart.

"You trying to jump a fucking blind kid, bro? What the fuck is your problem?" Pines said as Sparn lay bleeding on the ground. "I swear to God, if you fuck with this kid again, I will fuck you up."

When a video of the incident made its way to the Internet in September, the 17-year-old was rightfully lauded as a hero. When the story went viral, Pines said he hoped something positive would come out of the ordeal.

"I hope everyone hangs out with him now and shows him love because Austin deserves it," Pines said. "He's such a cool kid."

The former football player, who clearly looks to be in mid-season form, showed humility in the aftermath of his new fame.

"But when you punch a blind kid, that's what made me so mad," Pines told a local news station. "I kinda regretted it, but I kinda didn't because if I didn't, Austin would've been more hurt."

Sparn suffered a minor cut from Pines’ punch that required stitches. He was arrested with a misdemeanor battery charge and released back to his parents. The bully showed little remorse following his embarrassment, claiming over Twitter the blind child attacked him first.

"Cody is a hero," one of Pines’ classmates told reporters.

Teresa White said she is "proud of our grandson for standing up for that young man."

This Holiday season, when we think of what our response would be in the face of wrongdoing, let us hope we all possess the character and bravery of Cody Pines, Free Beacon Man of the Year.

Published under: Man of the Year