People who legally carry a gun, in our experience, don’t go looking for trouble. If trouble does find it typically finds us prepared. That was exactly the case with a retired Salt Lake City police officer who was driving down the street in his hometown and saw fight between two men. One of the men had a knife.
The officer stopped his car, pulled his firearm, and intervened to stop the fighthe likely saved the life of one of the young men. In the video below, which was posted on YouTube, pay particular attention to the crowd the that gathers. That’s where the action is.
The audio is somewhat difficult to understand so here is a transcription provided by WGN.
“I was just in my car on North Temple, I saw a guy pull a knife on another guy, a fight ensued, the guy with the knife was swinging it several times at the unarmed person,” said Nick, the civilian, who declined to give his last name.
Nick, a retired police officer, decided to step in and pull his gun on the suspect.”
“I see somebody in need of help it’s just the right thing to do, the wrong thing to do would of been to turn my back and have somebody be stabbed because I didn’t do anything.” Nick, citizen
“I told him to lay down on the ground and he stayed there,” Nick said.
Witnesses had no idea was what happening. They began demanding that Nick put down the gun. A witness videotaped most of the incident.
During the incident, Nick was second-guessed by bystanders who were likely unable to fathom why someone would actually do something about the situation, let alone pull a firearm.
“This guy’s got a knife, you guys just back off,” Nick tells two men approaching him.
“Or you the police or what?” a man asks him.
“Let’s see the badge, just because you got a gun, that don’t mean sh*t,” another tells him.
The video is striking because the witnesses seem quite content to sit idly by recording the knife-wielding man in a possibly violent stand-off, but had qualms about a man putting an end to it with his firearm.
While Nick implies that several had their camera phones recording the incident, a video of the altercation eventually coming to light on social media, but reportedly not one of them called the police.
The report is emblematic of a bystander phenomenon that is seemingly fueled further by social media. An infamous incident at a McDonald’s in Brooklyn this March involved dozens of bystanders watching and even cheering on, while a 15-year-old girl was beaten by several thuggish girls.
Take special note that no one in the crowd bothered to call the police. They likely didn’t want to get involved. It’s a good thing, at least for the young man who wasn’t armed, that this armed private citizen didn’t follow suit.
It’s also interesting to note the amount of time it takes from the time the retired officer called 911 until the police actually showed up. It looks like a couple of minutes and to their credit that is excellent response time. Well, it’s excellent response time in less you’re the one being stabbed.
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