Let's look at it from the outcome of the incident. * Nobody went to jail. * Nobody went to the hospital. * Nobody is in the morgue I can't see a way it could have gone better. The smartest thing you can do is avoid a physical altercation, if the other party decides to attack you or someone else, then you must end it quickly as possible so there is as little harm to you and others. Overall, this is the best possible outcome in my opinion.


That’s what I keep telling myself, but it seems my coworker is a bit impacted now from the situation. Feeling guilty that I didn’t intervene, but I can’t guarantee the outcome would have been any better. It’s easy to draw the line at physical contact for yourself, but a bit harder when other people are involved. For example, if it was my daughter there I would have gotten in the way 10/10 times.


They might be impacted by what happened, but what could you have done to prevent that? Preemptively assault this other person? Even if you prevented this threatening moment of trauma that DID happen, imagine the trauma for someone who doesn't train and isn't used to violence (simulated or otherwise) watching their coworker and presumably friend potentially fight for their life or maybe lose it if the other person had a weapon. You're thinking too Batman. You're not Batman. Bad things happen to good people, and we often can't prevent that. Even more rarely can we do so with violence. You feel obligated because you feel more qualified to act in a dangerous situation, but this is one of those tough ones where there really wasn't anything more to do. That person acted inappropriately, and violence might have been justified, but was ultimately not necessary. This sounds like a scary situation for everyone involved. I understand the impulse to want to protect someone more vulnerable, but the only preventive measure that would have been more effective was removing yourselves from the situation entirely, which you couldn't do.


I’ll be Batman if I inherited $10 billions, too. Until then, stay safe out there


It's not your fault your co-worker was traumatised in this way. Whether you realise it at this point or not, you were too. You did exactly the right thing. Of course in hindsight you can say you should have got off earlier. But if nothing had happened that decision might have seemed wrong too. I think you and your coworkers behaved entirely appropriately and I agree not much could have been done to make things better from your side.


Sounds like it would have been traumatic even if you got involved, maybe even worse if you or the other person were injured. The truth is, it was a crazy situation and you handled it perfectly.


My philosophy is, don't get into a fight unless it is A) a consensual activity such as sparring or a competition, or B) you have exhausted any other options to avoid it, or C) you are protecting your friends, family, or property.


I agree with most of this except the property bit.


If someone breaks into my house it's on. If I can't feel secure there then what exactly is the point. I'm not a fan of having a duty to retreat in my home.


I interpreted property as stuff eg. Phone wallet etc. I agree that someone in your home is a valid reason


So you think you should just hand over your wallet and phone with endless amounts of personal information in each to avoid a fight? My wallet has my home address inside of it, my children’s names, etc.


Would you prefer to get stabbed over it? Then he gets it anyway and you are left dead on the sidewalk. Just what is someone going to do with a random person’s address or your children names? He likely wants the money and the rest is going straight in the bin, if the guy wanted to break into houses, he would be doing that instead of assaulting people on the streets.


I’d prefer to not guess at the intentions of a criminal willing to commit violence and trust the safety of my family to that guess. I’d prefer to put holes in a person inconsistent with their survival for giving me a choice between handing over my property or experiencing violence.


Suit yourself then. But be aware this is foolish thinking.


Imagine you had popped off on the train. She could’ve been traumatized by seeing a colleague resort to violence. Public transit comes with risks. Sounds like you did okay by not engaging and getting out of there. Be aware and avoid the situation. You did the right thing.


i would have probably stood in between them, that's about all you needed to do until he got physical


It’s tough to say what we would do in the situation without having actually experienced it, but no one was touched so I think you did the right thing. Sounds ridiculous but genuine question - would you accept death as a potential outcome to prevent this interaction from occurring with that coworker? You recognize he’s crazy, but do you want to find out to what level of crazy he is? A college friend was a bouncer in NYC, saw a scuffle break out, one guy pulls out a push knife , two quick stabs and the other guy bled out on the floor; how much changed in a matter of seconds.


Yeah you usually don't know if someone has a weapon till it's sticking out of you. There's a video of a guy getting his throat slit at a shopping mall. One second he's arguing and the second he's dying on the shopping floor


she would be traumatized even if you did intervene. no one got physically hurt, so this was the best possible outcome, all things considered…


I hear you on this on all counts. But wouldn’t your coworker or daughter have been equally or far more traumatized if you’d ended up inserting yourself physically or even verbally. You did the right thing.


If you had intervened it would have gotten worse though. Still the right thing to do considering the threat he posed, not just to you, but all of you.


You intervened by keeping your cool and avoiding violent conflict. Who knows what would have happened to her if you had laid hands on the guy.


This is why I think everyone should carry, if it was me in this situation I would have shot the guy. Going full sprint to someone and slamming the glass on top of them? That’s assault, then the threat to cut her tongue, you can say that’s enough to warrant a self defense shot. I remember a case where I lived where a homeless guy just like this was telling threats to people and one day he just snapped and attacked someone. Sometimes you have to take the threat seriously. It’s a controversial opinion, I know.


Morals aside, this occurred in Chicago, Illinois. OP would almost certainly end up in prison if they carried a gun and shot the guy.


Is this a shitpost?


so you would overreact out of fear and kill someone suffering with mental illness because they scared you Pussy


What would you do, let them go away and hurt other people? And I’m the pussy? I’ve seen the very same shit happen where a homeless guy got aggressive and eventually stabbed someone because people just ignored it. Face the facts these people aren’t getting the help they need because their mental state already deteriorated to this point. If I could afford to help them and make a real pact I would. But if you threaten me with violence and you’re unpredictable I will handle that threat. You call me a pussy but when someone fucking dies or get hurt because of the guy lashes out and you did nothing that’s blood on your hands. Who’s to say if their train stop was a few more minutes away the guy wouldn’t have lunged at op or their coworker?


So you know for sure they'll kill someone? because you saw it on the news somewhere one time? Having an episode is not a switch that turns you into a fuckin zombie. You can still help people after their health declines Its sad that its easier to get away with killing someone then put any thought into how to get them help, and other people think this is logical


But... I deemed that he *might* hurt someone in the future... Best to kill him now. /s


This is a dumbass response.


preemptive action would have impacted her worse😞 i would have put my arms around my female coworker just to assure & make her feel safe and show the guy you won’t let anything happen to her👍


The outcome was ideal, but it's short sighted to ignore the risks. It's like jaywalking and being content that it saves you time. In this situation the man could have punched his coworker (or worse) before OP could intervene. I think given the behavior of the man, it was completely justified for OP to shove him away and stand in the way. I'm all for de escalation, never been in a fight since high school, but I don't think it's wise to ignore threats (verbal or otherwise) indefinitely. If you wait for the other party to commit violence before taking action, serious damage can already be done.


OP could stand in between them without shoving or touching the guy himself. The guy sounds definitely mentally ill and I think avoiding setting that off was very important here. That's completely different than a sane person threatening you. Someone who's psychotic/schizophrenic/delusional is unlikely to back off from a shove or be intimidated into leaving.


Well in that same line of reasoning someone who's psychotic/schizophrenic/delusional could become physically violent without any provocation whatsoever. It sounds like he was very close, he was already violent and aggressive. I understand the sentiment towards de-escalation above else. But in situations where violence could likely happen anyways, I think it's reasonable to focus on minimizing the damage to you or any innocent people. The shove is not for intimidation but to create distance and avoid a sucker punch or worse a stab. Ofc I don't know how I would have reacted and I'm glad no one was hurt, I just don't think that trusting and unstable person not to escalate is necessarily a good choice.


>The shove is not for intimidation but to create distance and avoid a sucker punch or worse a stab. You don't need to shove to create distance, you just get up and walk farther away from him. He's just walking around the train car being crazy, he's not trapping anyone in a certain spot. You'd have to move towards him to shove him. >I just don't think that trusting and unstable person not to escalate is necessarily a good choice. You definitely shouldn't do this though. You should definitely be ready for him to escalate and to defend. I just don't see any benefit to you escalating it first, unless you are doing so in a way to completely control and pin him until you can leave the train. And you are sure you can do this without it turning into a worse fight, him coming at you with a weapon, etc.


I agree with you. If you are the FIRST to get your hands on someone (shoving) you escalate and you end up to go to the wrong side.


Definitely not wrong. OP could have gone either way here, I'm judging the outcome here as well.


I’m kind of with you. You don’t need to get in a fight over it, but you can at least tell the person to gtfo and take his nutty bullshit somewhere else. It’s just a little too passive to have a guy throw a punch in the direction of his female coworker and sit there like nothing happened. People like this rage like this because they know that most likely nobody will say or do anything. It’s the bystander affect.


Nope, that would him off and make it worse. Thats escalation with bad vibes. I did that once to a similar person on the train in chicago and it led to fisticuffs. So its not the answer. OP did the right thing, if he didnt want to beat up a homeless mentally ill man. They do this because they’re paranoid schizophrenic, its not a power play like you’re describing.


I agree with this! However you would have been justified to use force based on all of his behaviors along with sprinting towards her slamming his hand and threats of physical harm. Ultimately like jpeck said above everything panned out but knowing articulation to justify defense is always good.


It would have ended better if a meteor from space landed right between the abusive passenger shoulders. But it’s not your job to fight every junkies. Staying safe (from injuries and the law) is your prime goal. So yes, total success.


Other then physically putting yourself in the way earlier like you said, I think you played it right. The second there's a real threat you gotta be very decisive and forceful but it was the right move to wait Can't just whoop someone's ass for having intense mental illness Plus if you escalate it that's when knives and shit come out because homeless people don't fight for fun


In retrospect it worked out. However, once he sprinted across the train and got in someone’s face, that’s fair game to me. That very easily could have been him sprinting across the train and tackling her or you. Or stabbing. Or anything. That’s a little too close for comfort for someone acting so erratic.


100%, as soon as he was onto sprinting across the train towards us I'd have been out of my seat


Yeah, I'm with you on this. It did all work out in the end, but allowing him to do that without any movement/comment was taking a massive risk.


I think you did the right thing. I may have put my self between them, but not physically escalated.


That’s where I’m leaning as well. I was too focused on avoiding eye contact I would have been too slow to get in the way, probably should have better balanced self awareness with avoiding eye contact.


If we’re running it back just avoid the situation better, get off earlier if someone is like that. I learned that quick on the trains in NY. If some weirdo is there I change cars or bounce, not waiting to figure out what happens next.


100 percent. Use the doors between cars asap.


I mean, no one got hurt. Everything is clear in retrospect, don’t beat yourself up.


Dealing with aggressive, mentally ill people is (unfortunately) an occupational hazard for me. Here's my thoughts: 1. Nobody can really say what they would have done until they are living in that situation at the moment. 2. you had the best outcome here. Reflecting on what happened and considering what could/should have gone different is good. Since there was not a bad outcome, I wouldn't worry about it too much. 3. Lots of folks here are saying you should have stepped in between him and her. I'd actually argue that such a move *could* have escalated the situation. It's impossible to say but you can't expect an irrational person to act rationally. Here's some things to consider: 1. Calm words are tactic #1. Calmly saying "hey man, we're not trying to start anything here, we don't want any trouble..." can go a long way. Doesn't matter how right or wrong you or he is, we're looking for deescalation here. 2. Homeless folks have box-cutters, screwdrivers, other improvised weapons. Just expect them to be armed. 3. Fighting is the last resort to save life or limb.


I live in Chicago and used to take the train daily. Incidents like this occur much more often now after COVID. For the next time you're on the "L", get off at the next stop and re-board on the next train. It's best to avoid confrontation at all costs, especially with people who are unstable as anything can happen.


Was gonna say the same thing. This is not uncommon on the L.


I worked off the lakefront and train in the west loop used to ride the blue > red > green line and back daily. There is always something happening on either line. I mind my own business and there always some knuckle-heads ruining the commute. I've switched jobs and now drive in from the NW burbs to the west loop.


I would have butt-scooted up and took the De La Riva


Damn it I knew I shouldn’t have pulled donkey guard


You will be ready next time. This was just a drill.


I’ve only trained in the gi, so I’d have had an extra one with me in my bag and I’d have kindly asked him to put it on before the altercation continued


This is the way


Nobody got hurt, which means you did the right thing. Don't overthink it... I work in a downtown area of a big city. There are homeless people all over the place during the day. 99% of them are just minding their own business. Occasionally I'll come across someone acting like the man you described. If it's just me, I continue on my path but keep them in my peripheral vision. If I'm with a female co-worker, I'll put myself between her and them. I do it mostly just out of politeness and that "you can never be too careful" attitude. After years of working downtown for a decade and walking past thousands of homeless, I've never once been actually threatened or come anywhere close to a violent encounter... that doesn't mean it won't ever happen though.


Wow you’re lucky. I have had several issues with homeless in Philly haha. One wanted to fight me over a quarter. Another because I was driving a car(I was delivering for Amazon) and damaging the environment(this really happened). Drunk guy going from car to car trying to fight everyone(mailman included). Many many more lol you have nice homeless people haha


Is Philly really that bad? I keep seeing videos of hordes of fent zombies roaming the streets.


Thays Kensington and that’s junkie central. I deliver for a side hustle for Amazon and I do it at like 3-4 am and I’ve seen the wildest stuff out there at that time. The other bum encounters were more in center city area.


When a child is in danger and no one else can help. I stopped a child from being kidnapped in Hawaii, a crazy lady was ripping him away from his grandma and saying some crazy shit. I grabbed the kid and asked what was going on. Told the crazy lady I’d body her if she got closer. We called the cops and they helped figure out what was going on. Shit was wild.


I personally would have front kicked him once he started bee-lining in my direction aggressively, then who knows what would happen next. Maybe I beat his ass, maybe he stabs me. Either way, it gets even more complicated when law enforcement arrives. I stopped riding buses in KC because people do drugs and brandish weapons in front of the cameras with no consequences. Got suckerpunched by a crackhead trying to steal my bicycle, popped my nose bloody then tried to stomp my head in. And this was years after I got sucker-punched at a bus stop right when my route arrived. WITH THE CAMERAS RECORDING AND DRIVER FLEEING IN A PANIC! And no, the police didn't care either. Don't contemplate legalities and technicalities, just split fare on an uber instead. Better to pay more upfront that play with your safety trying to save a dollar. Martial arts will be worthless to you if you're bleeding out. If you really want to test your technique, sign up for comp. Edit: Distracted mid rant, lost a sentence, lol.


After the "barbershop incident" pair of posts last week, I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop: "So I'm homeless in Chicago, and this dude kept eying me on a train while his friend was mouthing off to me..."


Please send link to the posts because this has me very intrigued hahaha


This one came first: [https://www.reddit.com/r/bjj/comments/xeus7m/have\_you\_ever\_been\_challenged\_by\_a\_big\_guy\_with\_a/](https://www.reddit.com/r/bjj/comments/xeus7m/have_you_ever_been_challenged_by_a_big_guy_with_a/) Then this one shortly after: [https://www.reddit.com/r/bjj/comments/xexae5/tiny\_jiu\_jitsu\_guy\_challenged\_me\_to\_a\_fight/](https://www.reddit.com/r/bjj/comments/xexae5/tiny_jiu_jitsu_guy_challenged_me_to_a_fight/) Great stuff! Haha.


Wish I could like it more times hahahaha


In hindsight it turned out to be the right thing. In a live setting I would have intervened when he rushed towards your coworker. Hopefully the violence would be minimal - he is sick after all, but once that personal space boundary is crossed all bets are off. I have, on occasion, engaged with these types verbally before any incident occurs. I ask them if they are OK or need any help. Most of the time the outcome is positive. A little compassion goes a long way.


lived there for 8 years. one time on the train there was a group of 5 that were drinking and started messing with an old couple. this big russian guy stood up, had some words and started swinging on 2 of the dudes. after a few shots, they got him cornered in a seat and started kicking him all over, meanwhile the train had stopped and most people had cleared out. I was standing outside and this little mexican dude tried to get me to jump in with him. I just started yelling at them, which I guess kinda worked cause one of them came out and threw me on the ground then ran away. I didn't train back then but most of the time in chicago youre gambling with your life if you do decide to intervene. A lot of people carry weapons


I work in law enforcement, deal with people like this on the regular. Your thought process and risk assessment are sound. The only things I would do different. 1) Once the crowd is thinned, or even before, if a guy appears jumpy & unpredictable: address it early. Having some training where I know the few others present don't: I am standing between this dude and them. 2) Talk with him, assess his state of mind. If he's got stuff going on in his head, sometimes all it takes is a calming influence to pull guys out of it. Usually they'll tell you their mood. If he's making me nervous; distracting him with calm, positive chitchat is basically what I'm doing at that point for the rest of the trip. But thats something that comes from experience. If his response is hostile - or not responding at all - disengage. It doesn't mean anything will happen, but at that point I would consider being prepared for anything.


Wow that’s interesting, never even occurred to me to try talking to him. Something to definitely think about


I would personally intervene as soon as they showed physical type aggression. The running up on your female friend, that would wind me up fast into action. I tend to 'snap' into action when physical aggression comes out, especially towards others. Guy could choose any action as he's running up. I'd have to stop it then to avoid possible serious consequence. I would probably react the same way if I witnessed the aggression on another group. I'd be up to control it.


When he "sprinted from one end of the train car" to your female co-worker. That was the time to intervene if you're going to at all. You could've watched her get hit, stabbed, etc. If that really happened as described, it's pretty dumb to just sit there. The ranting and other behaviour isn't actually a physical threat, so whatever, there's people like this everywhere. But sprinting a train car length? Boom, doubleleg.


Then get stabbed with a knife… naw man. He did the right thing but it’s easy to determine that in hindsight, tough when your in the actual situation


All is well that ends well. I think you would have been legally and morally justified putting your hands on him after the threats and glass slamming. Those could be charged as assault. At the very least getting in between and letting him know you're aware of him, might've been worth it. I'm glad everyone is okay. If you end up in a situation like that again, make sure you control or are aware of their hands. That might be something you don't think about in regular BJJ class.


Invasion of space requires an immediate response


Tough spot to be in. I'm pretty pro-active in the world with body positioning. It can send a signal without having to make contact, e.g. blading your body, hands up calmly saying "I can hear you from there. It's all good.", etc. I probably would have moved toward him when he started running towards my group. But, I like u/jpeck89's perspective. No injuries. No jail. No death. Godspeed.


I volunteered with homeless guys (mostly, some women) for 18 months a couple times a week. They were all nice people with some interesting talents, skills and training. They were all trying to turn their lives around, they were all in a program where they had to stay clean and they all said they had addiction issues on the street. The homeless man was probably on something (or having a severe mental crisis) and probably needed help himself as much as he needed to be beat up. Somewhere in his mind he may have been resentful of your group simply because you don't have his problems. I think your (too late) decision to be proactive would have been best. Your group left an opening and the homeless man tried to intimidate a weaker member. If you had been standing and in the way he may not have perceived an opportunity. If he did try something, you could have been resolute, deferential and calm to deescalate and help your coworker feel safe. Obviously, starting something and getting yourself stabbed or shot would probably traumatize your coworkers more than what happened. Don't attempt beat up homeless people unless you have to. Being homeless is a very shitty way to live. I think you were taken unaware and did just fine. For the future, IMO "yelling, cursing, jumping into other peoples conversations, and creepily laughing nonstop" is 100% signs of showing aggression. 100% be vigilant if you see these signs in anyone (homeless looking or in a $1,000 suit).


I'm going to be honest, I'm grabbing that dude. This is going to sound like stupid bravado shit and I am well aware of de-escalation. I work in law enforcement and that scenario just as likely could have turned violent with or without your intervention. Your female friend could has just as easily been assaulted the very next second. De-escamation is important but the threats and aggressive nature of that interaction constitute assault depending where you live. So I personally would have grabbed him and told them to get off the bus, throwing, tripping etc him and then leaving myself, probably calling the police. Perhaps that's just my experience with work, and taking action immediately to these things to protect people, but based on the facts that you provided that's what I'm doing. Having said that, thankfully nothing happened, no one was injured and everything turned out okay except for your female friend who will be emotionally shaken up from this incident. But just know that things could have turned out very different. I think you did the right thing, weighing the threat of escalation and potential weapons, and im not saying you're wrong for not taking action, but I probably would have. Glad everyone is okay! Stay safe and keep your head on a swivel, situational awareness is key.




“As a cop I would have hurt him good” Yea If was carrying I probably would have tossed him off too. Jokes asides.


Your training is probably what contributed to you staying calm. You knew you could intervene if things went south. I think it's totally normal to think 'what if' - but don't beat yourself up about it. Sounds like quite a stressful situation. You did the right thing.


It worked out this time.. but waiting until something goes wrong isn’t the best move. If you do that and she does get assaulted, well then you didn’t do much protecting did you. You can’t prevent assault without preventing it.. look at it on a much larger scale: wasnt Ukraine Reeeeaaaallly hoping Russia didn’t assault them? Hopes don’t do much in the real world


You probably should have stayed between her and the guy.


For most friends/acquaintances I think what you did was most appropriate. Let the crazy do more than bark before you intervene, no need to be a hero or risk danger on your own part. If it was my wife though, that man would never get the opportunity to escalate that way with her. She is soft, sweet and helpless physically, and I will keep her safe.


I think positioning yourself between him and her would have been best. I also think telling the man what you will not tolerate would be best. “Hey dude, I’m taking your words/actions seriously if you continue I’ll have to defend myself”, this is not acceptable”.


>>Suddenly, while I’m talking with one of my female coworkers across from me, he sprints from one end of the train car to her, slamming his hand right next to her face on the glass hovering over her, screaming to STFU with a bunch of other slurs. He doesn’t actually touch her at all, but it was incredibly threatening. If that was your daughter, what else would you tolerate? Serious question. By time he's actually touching her, he might be fully committed to biting and tearing out hair or sticking his fingers places. Soooooo.......??? Let's hear it. Is this downvoted because I didn't summarily pat OP on the back?


Yea I say online I would take the least violent approach. In real life I probably would have stood up and if he came back front kicked him. Not kidding




Meh, done it before. Would not do again. But its not a hypothetical in my case. I did confront the crazy on a train in chicago when I was 20. Ill avoid being the hero for the rest of my life. Also not worth the hassle of the hospital trip to get stitches. Otoh I would have switched cars as soon as I noticed the crazy. That was the real mistake, from lack of experience of riding a subway in america. They waited too long to be isolated like that.


Calm down my guy, I asked the question because although I was content with the results I didn’t feel good how I handled it in retrospect and am interested in feedback. I focused too much on not engaging with the guy because he seemed to thrive out of reactions that I didn’t see him run up on her. I missed the opportunity to get in between them, so at that point I waited to see if he backed off before escalating, but was within reach if I needed to grab him.


OP, I don’t know how close you are with your female coworker but it might be helpful to share some of these thoughts with her. You can let her know that you really wanted to help but weren’t sure when to intervene. Then, give her a chance to talk about how she felt during the situation. As a woman, I imagine that she would have felt very defenseless, scared and alone in that moment. It seems like it would help to know that someone cared enough about her during that traumatic experience to check up and ask how she’s feeling now. I’m sure that this wouldn’t be a comfortable topic to bring up but it might be beneficial for both of you to have that conversation.


He would have felt like a balsa wood skeleton surrounded by smelly jello as piss bums always do. Sit on his chest til cops deal with it. You didn't like the optics of him being black and you being all oppressive looking. I know the routine. Very acutely, since I am a cop in godforsaken illinois. Do some mental rehearsal and do better next time. This one was a gamble.


I think what jujitsu has given me, more than anything else, is the confidence to intervene without immediately having to take something physical. I wasn’t there, and I’m not going to judge whether you were right or wrong. As others have said, no one was hurt and no one went to jail. But I will read into your post enough to feel like you are struggling with feeling if it was right, and therefore I feel like without being judge mental or rude I can examine what else you might have done. I have seen and experienced multiple instances of nonviolent interventions in those types of situations. I work on the side as a security officer and 99 times out of 100 we can resolve something without physical altercations having to occur. you said there were four of you and only one of him. Even for people standing up would likely have been enough to get this guy to back off a little bit. It also might have served to make your friend feel a little bit better and less traumatized. Again, I am not judging your actions at all. That would’ve been really scary for me. But I think between doing nothing and just automatically jumping the guy, you are correct in feeling there may have been other solutions, and only you know which of those you would feel comfortable doing. Regardless, I am really glad you are all OK and wish you the best.


You did the right thing. The risks of engaging are just too high. He might be armed, like you say, he might have HIV or some other disease, you could accidentally kill him and go to prison, you might die. Just getting off at the next stop is the smart thing to do. Unless he was literally assaulting someone I would do nothing, and just try and distance myself. Jiu jitsu isn’t a superpower, as much as people like to pretend that it is.


You did good. Always assume that homeless people have knives. They live in a parallel dystopian Mad Max world, and you don't live long like that without some kind of weapon.


Can’t wait to read the hobo’s r/bjj post on what went down.


I don’t think you did anything wrong, but just remember a threat doesn’t always have to be a physical threat. The law is mostly on your side when it comes to verbal threats and defending yourself.


Insane that we treat physically and verbally threats from a homeless person as something to ignore even though homeless people can cause very serious damage. I can't believe we live like this around psychos and just shrug it off like "wow that was the best case scenario" If it was your mom/sibling/child would you have acted differently? That might help answer your question.


Welcome to Chicago, if you don't want this dilemma on a daily basis, avoid the CTA at all costs. I don't think I've ever been on a train that DIDN'T have a mentally ill person on board


The end result definitely seems to be the best end result. But if someone is showing manic signs, then starts sprinting in my direction in an aggressive manner, they would’ve taken a ride through the air lol there’s no definite way to know for sure what he’d do when he reached you/whoever he’s sprinting at. Based off his prior actions and body language I would’ve felt threatened. That is enough for me to grab his ass.


A couple years ago something like this happened here in Portland. A crazy guy was on the train, and yelled something about how he was a Nazi and asked who wanted to join him. Some black girls basically told him to STFU, and he started yelling. One guy got up and stay next to the girls to be a human shield and couple people stepped in to de-escalate, called the cops and convinced him to go get off at the next stop. As he was about to get off, he was still yelling crazy bullshit, so a guy came up behind him, grabbed him and threw him on the ground and proceeded to get right in his face telling him to back off, shut up with the Nazi shit, etc. The crazy guy then pulled out a knife, sliced the dude’s face open, and murdered the other two people who had been trying to de-escalate. Was he a Nazi? I dunno, we should probably take his word for it, but it was well documented and obvious to anyone who ever interacted with him (as I did many times as he used to hang out near my work downtown) that he was batshit fucking loco. I hate Nazis a little more than the next guy because of the number of run ins I had with them as a punk rock / activist teenager, but man … I can’t help but wonder about that alternative timeline where he gets off the bus and everyone goes home to talk about the crazy / scary / funny thing that happened on the train. Are those black girls better off because instead of getting harassed, they got harassed and then watched the two people who helped them get stabbed to death? I know a lot of things make the situation very complicated, but it doesn’t feel like it to me. You never know what’s going to happen when you escalate a situation. There’s two bits of wisdom regarding violence that my grandpa gave me that I still stick by. A.) Never pick fights with stocky old men, little guys with messed up ears, or girls who grew up with brothers. B.) Before you confront someone, always ask yourself: How crazy is this sonofabitch? You were right to be on your guard because that situation could have gone bad fast. You were prepared for it, and it didn’t. Everybody won, and nobody had to see somebody murdered right in front of their eyes.


you couldve told that mf to shut the fuck up way sooner and he would t have done shit. anyone bitch made enough to yell at a woman like that in public is a pussy on the inside


I read “so I’m in Chicago” and I immediately thought you need to remove yourself from the situation lmao


in hind sight it was the right thing to do, but I think physically moving him away in as nice a way as possible was actually the right thing to do. It somewhat depends on how fast it happened. If it was a stranger I wouldnt have done anything, but if it was someone I was with I would like to think I would have intervened.


You did great. You got her out of the situation. You would have been ready to go if it escalated, but you got everybody out of there unharmed and safe. I’m sorry all of you guys had to go through that.


I think you should switch to Tai Chi. It's much easier on the joints than Jiu-Jitsu, and equally effective in a street fight if you're not going to do anything at all.


Unfathomably under rated.


No you should always put yourself in between the threat and the more vulnerable parties, and if some acts like that they need to be told that behavior is not ok and you will call security its pretty straight forward. Now how you chose to de-escalate varies, i personally give people with mental health problems a fair warning but you should never be afraid to stand your ground and tell someone who could be a threat to back the hell off.


Where were your hands? You might want to keep them near your face, but in a non-threatening way, in case you get sucker punched. I realized this after my jacket got grabbed out of nowhere by a crazy guy, similarly crazy to the one you say but with no warning. It was easy to break his grip but what if he'd thrown a punch when I wasn't ready?


I was sitting, leaning forward with my elbows on my knees and hands up/together. I was getting ready to intervene but was hoping to avoid an altercation at all costs, especially because it was a moving train with no exits.


As a woman who has been in that situation a few times, the things that have made me feel the best is when a man nearby just stands up. That immediately tells me and the aggressor that I’m not alone. I’ve also witnessed a handful of similar situations and usually once one guy stands another will too, because everyone wants the situation to stop but doesn’t know what to do. Also helpful if you don’t want to physically move are just saying something along the lines of “hey back off”/“leave her alone”. I’m also pretty confrontational though and when it’s happened to me I stare them down and try to make it clear I’m not afraid of them and won’t be an easy target. So, to me, someone else showing me support is a de-escalation because it immediately shows they aren’t going to come away from the situation with a win so they back off. If she handled it more by looking away and basically trying to avoid him until he left then she may have not wanted anything to happen that could be seen as an escalation. If you haven’t already, you may want to ask her how she’s doing after it and ask if it ever happens again if she’d like you to say or do anything, you can say you wanted to do something but didn’t want to make her feel more uncomfortable if you accidentally escalated anything. I never would judge anyone for not wanting to get themselves involved, because like you said, you never know and they could have a knife or gun or something. In *general*, these guys pick women and teenage girls for a reason, they’re an easy target who they don’t view as a threat in any way. They’re sane enough to only pick on someone they’re bigger and stronger than. I’ve never personally seen a situation like that where someone intervenes actually escalate to violence, but I’ve seen news stories of it happening. I have seen the aggressor escalate until someone else does intervene. If the dude does that to a big guy with face tattoos and then also does it to a woman, I’d avoid getting involved like the plague because that’s a clear instance where their mental health is off enough for their self-preservation to be non-existent. I can’t really describe the feeling of being in that situation while it’s happening and nobody doing or saying anything, it’s very isolating, very scary. Checking in with her can help her look back on it and know that even though she felt alone she wasn’t


Thank you, this perspective is very helpful. I wish I would have gotten in between them but will make sure to check up on her.


Nobody is perfect, it’s easy to be a keyboard warrior and say what you would’ve done, but in reality it’s hard to know the right thing to do and it’s easy to freeze if you haven’t been in the situation before. Thanks for caring enough to be asking how to help!


“So I’m in Chicago...” Mistake number 1


You should have pulled guard immediately.


You did well. There's no winning once you're in a physical altercation with a person having a mental health crisis.


Oh jesus h. tap-dancing christ, self defense is a thing.


Absolutely, I've worked with homeless people who sometimes get aggressive before. But my point is, if you're in a fight with a person having an episode you're pretty much always losing at life more than if you avoided the altercation, however it pans out.


He had an untrained woman with him, and he was playing roulette with HER.


Tell him to screw off, I'm all about avoiding a fight. But I stand for mine and other's right to safety as well. He was making threatening actions and words. This wasn't a reasonable person you could have a conversion but your body language says a lot more. I would have made my opinions and presence known. You should have not avoided eye contact. He was acting that way because no one looked him in the eye and let him know they weren't scared or freaked out. Don't threaten or throw blows but don't let him freak everyone out into submission. When a dog barks at you most of the time all you have to do is stomp your foot, bark back and they stay away.


I think Jocko put it best: “Double leg, ground n pound” I think if he’s throwing punches even wo connecting that shows intent. You probably could have made world star if you suplexed his ass in the middle of all that


As a rule of thumb, if you regret having done nothing then you didn't do enough. You should have intervened the moment he was standing over your female co-worker and threatening her, and you probably lost any respect and trust from her for not doing so.


If I was with someone and got attacked by a homeless guy I'd treat it similar to being attacked by a bear (mostly because I don't want to get whatever disease the guy is carrying): I don't need to run fast, I just need to run faster than you. See ya boi


Leave the women and children behind. Cool.


No. The children are generally small so they can be yeeted at the danger which makes getting away even easier.


Ah, the post-modern approach


The Chad Run and Live post modernist vs the Virgin Fight and Die Kantian


Based af










It’s your coworker, not your kid. They ultimately aren’t your responsibility. Be happy everyone got out unscathed, in large cities that’s not a given.


If you're trained in fighting and the people that you are with are not, IF things escalated you are the most "qualified" (couldn't think of another word lol) to deal with situation. And if handled correctly, no-one get's seriously hurt - in an ideal world.


Being qualified to act and being responsible to act are two very different things. That guy could have had a knife or a gun. I'm not going to risk my health to protect my co-workers.


Of course I think most of us would do the same. All actions have consequences, and in this hypothetical if you didn’t act and someone lost their life, the guilt would haunt you forever, unless you’re a narcissist. You Americans have to worry about guns too so I don’t blame you for not wanting to intervene


I watch a youtube channel called "Active Self Protection". Shows videos of crime, street fights, assaults, etc daily. This channel has basically inspired me to never get into a fight and to run away if I can. People are just nuts. guys will literally murder you over an ego battle in a bar fight.


Well... You definitely did the best possible thing. Also, you don't want ro grapple with a person whose hygiene is certainly flawed and could be in the possession of weapons... if I were to attack someone in a similar spot I would look to knock them out with one strike. But again, props to you for keeping your cool.


Clean swift left or right hook right on target. Ask him if the noise is too much when he's sleeping


This. One hitter quitter all day.


You choke women and children for fun. Guilty until proven innocent. Avoid with every reasonable effort.


Chicagoan here. When I get on the train, even my safe ass bougie Brown line, I interact with CTA as little as possible. I love it, but I’m not touching anything extraneous, not making other than incidental eye contact with people just going about living their lives, keeping to myself when I’m on there solo. There are unwell people on the train, especially the Red and Blue lines, because of their hours of operation and their span across the city, and yeah, it can be freaky, but if they aren’t touching me or anyone else who doesn’t want to be touched, I can mind my own business. Personally, the dudes smoking cigarettes or freebasing are more of a concern for me.


Lol I guess we jinxed it, we were on the blue line and the other guy who was from Chicago was saying it’s not bad during the day and to just avoid the red line. He said he lived there for 10 years and never experienced something like that.


The Blue line is like Waffle House, in certain neighborhoods, during a certain window of time, its fine. But then it will get Waffle House After Hours in there.


The red line is usually fine as well as long as you aren’t going further south than Chinatown / Sox 35th. After that it can start to get pretty sketchy.


That's called assault. So..... But hey, it's Cook County. An assault charge isn't worth the paper it's written on. Nobody is interested in dealing with any of this at any level. The only alternative is to not participate. Only observe it through your rear view mirror at 70 mph. My wife works there and she learned long ago to wait til she gets back to the suburbs to go to ATMs for cash. Not just the obvious harassment either, but shit smeared vestibules etc. My brother works at the Cook Co jail. It's just...yeah...


These situations suck. I think you did the right thing based on the fact that nobody was hurt. It's tough though, because there certainly is some level of ego bruising, or feeling that you let others down. It's even worse if the people with you know you train, and are like "couldn't you just kick that guy's ass??"


Not fighting a random homeless person is always a win, I would just call the cops to not have that happen to someone who couldn’t either defend themselves, or had someone to do it for them.


I don’t think you would have actually let your coworker get hurt. Good read.


A few thanksgivings ago, I had to run to the dollar store to get something for my mom. When I was leaving I saw a crazy guy screaming and acting wild. I see a couple kids walking in the direction away from him. He starts screaming at them so I just keep my eye on it and then he starts sprinting at them. I charge over and she he has them backed against a building and scaring them. I picked him up and slammed him on the ground and told the kids to go home. Some lady starts saying I didn’t need to do all that and that he wasn’t touching the kids. I waited for the kids to be out of sight and then I just left him on the ground moaning. Point is, had you done something you would have had to do it all the way. No 50% in a situation like that. Turn their head into a basket ball or just stand in front of her and keep an eye on the person acting crazy. If he takes you standing in front of her as a sign of aggression than anything is going to be taken as a sign of aggression. I think the right course of action would have been to check on her and stand in front of her.


The only thing you should have done differently is you should have spiked the Karen, too.


I might have seen the same guy on Michigan Ave yesterday He was screaming at people following them yelling gibberish and nonsense He stopped at a Starbucks and started destroying their plants by ripping them out of the pots and throwing the plants and soils all over the street You should’ve kicked him in the face Fucking nutter I know they have mental illness but a part of them has to know what they are doing otherwise they would hit people and not self restrain


Um....Chicago has no shortage of that.


I'm not going to fault you for surviving but you did the bare minimum. I think you know that and are looking for validation that it's ok. The decent thing to do would've been to position yourself in a way to support her and put yourself between them in case of escalation, without physically escalating it yourself.


I dunno. It turned out fine, but who knows really. Legally, if he is threatening you, acting erratically, and you warn him that you are feeling threatened and you will defend yourself if he gets close to you, then you are within your rights to have at it. Depends on the jurisdiction though. If he says he is going to kill you, you say you will defend yourself, he moves in and you strike him/take him down you might not get arrested. If someone says its racism and you assaulted him, you might go to jail and get crucified on social media if its an interracial thing. Chicago??? I think you did the right thing. In Chicago or New York, it seems they love criminals more than law and order and would rather appear PC than do the right thing. You would probably get locked up. I guess the best answer is to just avoid cities as much as possible, especially ones with lunatic district attorneys. They are empowering all the wrong people to do all kinds of stupid things.


Coworkers genders shouldn't have anything to do with it. How much I like them honestly would. Like if was a particular ex boss, I wouldnt do shit to help him. Any other coworker I'd help. In this case he presented a clear threat when he charged and it justifies physical intervention to restrain him. Making threats to cut people warrants knocking him unconscious and tying his wrists and ankles together.


I might’ve pulled her away when he put his head on the glass but apart from that yeah kept distance and avoid.


When my me my friend or family get attacked, other than that keep it moving I ain’t catching a case for a random


I don't really know. I would have probably gone for a knock out though. Sounds like a guy that could be put down by a 1-2.


Quietly stepping near her would be the only thing I did. I think you handled it well.


I think you did the right thing. I feel like some people would have began a physical altercation once he slammed his hand next to her face… But then in hindsight would have wished they handled the situation the way you did. You took the option that makes the most sense. Have faith in that and don’t feel guilty! I don’t believe your coworker would have been any happier if you did more to escalate the situation


Tbh you did nothing wrong. Him being a dick to her was already done. All you getting between would of done is turn it into a physical altercation and putting everyone at risk


No one was injured so it’s all good in my book.


Definitely potential to be traumatic for your co-worker and everyone else. No one was physically hurt which was good, however he was still on that train so might've been worth calling the police because who knows what he could do and if the police intervene then it could save anything bad from potentially happening to others. In terms of what could you have done, I guess you're asking that question because part of the ego is thinking "I wish I had reacted differently", "I should've stood up for the co-worker because I train", "Do they think X or Y about me because I didn't react a certain way" etc. It's hard to train/prepare for these situations for obvious reasons, and they can always happen so suddenly. When your palms get sweaty and you feel that fight or flight response it's hard to think straight. I think you definitely did the right thing, but it sounds like part of your ego wishes it handled the confrontation in a more standoffish way instead of a more passive way.


As a rule, I don't get involved unless it directly affects me or my family. People running their mouth is not a strong enough reason to get into a fight. Not worth getting stabbed to death or an accidental needle stick.


Unless I'm getting on a plane (every time I go to work) I never leave my house without a can of pepper gel. I would only use it if I can't retreat or otherwise get away. It's safer I feel than throwing down with anyone, regardless of your belt level. Especially with someone who is clearly mentally unstable. Intervening as a third party in an altercation has immeasurable risks. There was a shooting at a WalMart a few years ago, a husband and wife team came into the store, and a good guy with a gun snuck up behind the husband, unaware that the wife was also involved. She shot the good guy in the back of the head. Just an example of how things can go horribly wrong regardless of your skill and preparation. Real violence is chaotic and unpredictable and should be avoided every time.


You did right assuming he had a weapon and playing it cool but personally the minute he got aggressive with my co-worker I would’ve intervened


The same. I've had people do weird lunging shit at me, and each time I grabbed them and pinned them to a table or wall until I understood what the fuck they were doing. Ideally, I'd like to have the wherewithal to assess people before I grab them and to be mindful of weapons but in the moment, that doesn't seem to be what I do.


Trying to avoid a physical altercation is always the best idea. Given he was threatening bodily harm and was using physical intimidation you would have been in the right to tell him if he approaches your group again you will defend yourself and your co-workers. I can't say there was 1 correct decision but given you got away with no one getting hurt, it was a correct decision.


Dude is still on the loose (sounds like complete lunatic that will go on to hurt someone else later) and coworker is apparently somewhat traumatized. I don't think there is a "right answer" on what to do here. But happy it didn't go more poorly.


This is a question for Renzo


This time it worked for the best but that is a tough call. You asked, should I have waited until he hurt her. That is where I see a problem, no you stop the threat before they hurt someone when possible. As soon as he invaded her personal space and felt she was in physical danger something should be done. Yes, there are unknown dangers and you may get injured, but if you decide to defend another those are risks you have accepted.


Yeah that’s right on the line for me but I probably would’ve done what you did. People with mental health problems and nothing to lose are the last people I wanna fuck with.


You did the right thing absolutely. No reason to get violent unless things actually get violent. You're not in your home city, so any legal issues are going to be much worse just from the distance. Dude might have a weapon or needles or some weird disease. You might accidentally kill or permanently injure a mentally ill person who already has a shitty hand. Think about it this way: you all walked away with no harm done. What outcome could possibly be better than that? And if there is some better outcome, what steps are most likely to get you there to that specific outcome? Choking the guy out? Unlikely.


I would have probably moved to a cart further away from him before all the people left but I’m a bit paranoid, I think you handled it fine, escalating a conflict is never smart.


Your first paragraph is eerily similar to a situation I was in a few months ago. Thankfully, the guy on the train in my situation didn't do anything violent either and my friends and I determined afterwards that he just wanted to freak people out. He had a backpack on and was pacing up and down the train car saying some crazy shit. I didn't physically intervene either but in the moment I was watching in case he pulled out a weapon. If he pulled a gun, the entire train car would have been at the mercy of this mentally ill dude and I didn't like those chances. I had planned that if he was within 5-6 feet from me I would charge him and intervene. Our train car had myself, 4 of my friends, and a few other innocent passengers including a father with his very young son. Again, thankfully it didn't go down this way. Like others are saying, you did the right thing. Nobody got hurt and there's no guarantee that could be said had you gotten involved. Always try to deescalate and don't escalate if it's not necessary. Stay safe out there and I'm glad your encounter turned out okay because I know how nerve-racking that type of situation can be.


Renzo looks on disapprovingly.


You 100% did the right thing. Dangerous situations will kick in your fight or flight (kind of what it's there for). They can be traumatic even if no one physically gets hurt. Asode form maybe getting between them, you could maybe have called the transit police once safe off the train and reported the guy as he was unstable,l and threatening, but it was a perfect result from a self defence perspective. The goal is to survive unharmed and our of jail, so it's a perfect outcome.


Don’t play around in Chicago and find out.. you will get shot over there before your brain can even process what happened.. ain’t no hero’s in that city, unless you are being physically attacked keep to yourself.


I’ve broke people likes this bones before and it doesn’t really solve anything other than stopping them in the moment. I wouldn’t do it unless you really need to. My friend escalated a situation like this by yelling at the guy and he attacked him with a knife. My friend got lucky that another guy blasted the guy in the back of the neck with an elbow and put him down. No winning in stuff like this. Only get violent if you need to.


Obviously, you should have hit a sweet double leg and thrown him on his head....duh


If the person doesnt attack others and isnt armed dont intervene


Avoidance is often the better resort. I’m a cop and we are encouraged to be a good witness and avoid intervention unless someone is in real jeopardy. This is because an on duty cop is better equipped to deal with the situation. Not to mention, homeless people have all sorts of nasty stuff you don’t wanna touch unprotected.


What you chose to do in the moment worked out for everyone involved. In retrospect you saw that you may want to position yourself in a more strategic location, and that’s a great observation for moving forward in these situations. It’s common to be overly self critical in these scenarios and wonder if you did the right thing, or what you could’ve done better. We will rarely perform perfectly in a self-defense situation, but perfection thankfully is usually not required for an optimal outcome. I’m sure whatever lessons you gleaned from this encounter will serve you well in the future.


I would have informed any police or security on the platform of the situation on the train. Its not worth it unless he makes contact in a way where you have to resort to using force to restrain him and protect yourself.


You 1000% did the correct thing. Yes your coworker was probably upset, but violence would have made the ordeal more upsetting.


*cue the porrada everyday bros Glad everyone went home safe - you made the right call


Dude, you did the right thing. Your coworker may be impacted by the situation, but that is an easier pill to swallow than risking all of your lives. You showed restraint, and situational awareness. If this type of situations the best outcome is when you come out of it with the least amount of harm.


You did fine


That was a scary situation. 9Next time leave at the next stop There are too many crazy violent people out there now.