Please verify

Watch LIVE

Martial arts coach saves the day when man tries to snatch baby from stroller right in front of screaming mother


'It's not a matter of stepping in; it's a matter of duty'

Image source: WPIX-TV video screenshot

Brian Kemsley was walking with his girlfriend last week near New York City's Madison Square Park when he saw and heard something that required immediate action: A man was trying to grab a baby from a stroller, WPIX-TV reported.

What are the details?

Kemsley, a 33-year-old Muay Thai coach, immediately put his skills to use, the New York Post reported.

He told WPIX the assailant was asked to let go of the stroller but kept reaching for the baby, and the mother was already holding a toddler, both of whom were screaming — as was the growing crowd around them.

Cellphone footage shows Kemsley tackling the man to the ground, the Post said. Kemsley pinned him and waited for authorities to arrive, WPIX reported.

Image source: WPIX-TV video screenshot

"I was trying to get him away from the mother and let her get away to safety … but toward the end of it, I was also trying to keep the guy safe from the mob," he told the Post.

Kemsley added to the paper that even though his martial arts training includes a decade of jiu jitsu, he was "worried about passing out and losing my grip" as the ordeal lasted about 15 minutes until authorities arrived.

"Here's the thing, I don't enjoy jiujitsu, I don't think training is particularly fun, but I have a lot of respect for it as it is absolutely essential in a street fight and self-defense," he said regarding the incident, the paper said, citing an Instagram post that apparently has been deleted.

Image source: WPIX-TV video screenshot

He added in another post — which also apparently has been deleted — that "smashing someone should not be the priority" when it comes to "community security" and that citizens shouldn't "show up with sticks and start beating people. The priority should always be to defuse the situation safely and as non violently as possible so we do not escalate the situation," the Post added.

What happened next?

Park rangers soon arrived, WPIX said. New York City police told the paper they responded to the park around 3:35 p.m. for a report of an emotionally disturbed person who was taken into custody and to Bellevue hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

Indeed, Kemsley told the Post that as he was pinning the man in place, he realized the perpetrator — who kept trying to fight — seemed unwell mentally, at one point appearing to believe he was speaking to former President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

No one was hurt, the station said.

"It's not a matter of stepping in; it's a matter of duty, when you see a woman and her child screaming," Kemsely told WPIX.

When it was all over "everyone started clapping, everyone was grateful," he added to the Post, noting that it "was a very nice moment."

Most recent
All Articles