Wallet and mobile phone save US charity worker from bullet

Millimetres from death

An American Catholic charity worker has had a miraculous escape from death after a stray bullet was stopped from piercing his skin by a tick wallet in his pocket, reports The Washington Post/SMH.

The bullet bored into the wallet of Brian Harris in Washington, DC, going through his driver's licence, a bank card and a folded $10 note. It struck five more cards and broke partway through the wallet's cover, stopping a few millimetres from his flesh.

Harris, 45, who had stepped out of his apartment in north-east Washington, DC, to enjoy a balmy Sunday night, smoke a cigarette and sip instant coffee from his favourite green mug, emerged shaken but unscathed. His wallet and mobile phone had saved his life. 'That's what people tell me,' Harris said, unwilling to admit how close a call he had.

Others weren't as shy. A miracle, proclaimed his boss and co-worker at Catholic Charities, where Harris has worked for three years delivering meals in some of the city's most impoverished and dangerous neighbourhoods.

Even cops who had seen everything hadn't seen this. 'I am generally not a religious man, but this guy is blessed,' said police commander Andrew Solberg, a 26-year veteran. 'I want to go over and touch this man's hand or clip off a lock of his hair. I want to rub him and feel some magic. We're all glad that he's here. I think somebody was watching out for him.'

The shots rang out about 8:30 pm from an alley across from the apartment where Harris has spent the past 18 years with his wife and five children, some now grown. Police said they found spent shell casings from a .380 semiautomatic.


Wallet and mobile phone save US charity worker from bullet

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