Social experiments often expose how people would act in stressful, dangerous or awkward situations. And a recent mugging scene setup by filmmakers in the U.K. does just that.

The concocted event went as follows: A woman was violently accosted on a busy London street in front of around 40 people who simply stared as a verbal and then physical battle unfolded.

The mugger and the female victim — both actors — were part of a documentary experiment to see what the public would do if an attack unfolded right in front of them. And the results were fascinating.

In the end, only one man in the crowd rushed to help the victim, the Daily Mail reported.

The scene was filmed in three stages. At first, the man approached the woman and a verbal argument ensued. People noticed, but no one got involved.

Then, in the second phase, the argument turned physical. Some observers shouted, but no one got involved to help.

In the third stage, the mugger stole the woman’s phone out of her purse and ran away. That’s when David Seal, an onlooker who was shopping in the area, attempted to tackle the man, according to the Daily Mail.

Watch the woman struggle with the mugger below:

While Seal said it’s not always wise to get involved in conflicts, in this case he felt it was appropriate.

“In this day and age it’s probably not clever, you don’t know if people have weapons on them,” Seal later said. “But I suppose I took an educated risk based on what I saw, if he was going the other way I’d have just called the police, but he was coming right for me so I had to do something.”

The social experiment aired Monday night on the “Law and Disorder: Catching Criminals Live” on the U.K.’s Channel 5.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

Featured image via Channel 5

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