Things this guy did well:
He was bigger, stronger, and clearly more skilled than the guy he took out. He did not posture, threaten, or try to interject with the aggressive shirtless “weirdo” and he did not telegraph his intention. When he decided to act, he placed him in a rear-naked choke before the aggressor even knew of his presence, in fact, before he was even on frame in the video.
Post choke-out considerations when he came back to consciousness:
It was pretty clear that he didn’t have much fight left in him after the choke, but I couldn’t help but think, I do not like that his arms are free and that he can reach his waistband. If he had a knife concealed in his jeans he may have had the opportunity to access it and get it into play on the Good Samaritan’s legs. Could the skilled good guy stomp him out & finish the fight again, very likely, but I don’t leaving opportunities for unknowns.
If you are a skilled individual and you go hands-on with someone and you are in a position where you have to stick around, such as in this case, they were on a moving train and it was clear that a Sheriff would be present soon, you need to consider a few things.
Are there secondary threats?
It was pretty clear that the aggressor did not have any supportive friends on the train. You likely would have seen some involvement with them, either coming to his aid, egging him on to fight, talking him out of the fight, or somehow reacting or protesting when he was put into the choke. Also, the other aggressive individuals that were posturing and challenging the shirtless guy were clearly not on his side; however, a sucker punch attempt during or shortly after the choke attempt could have placed the good Samaritan in danger incidentally/accidentally.
Don’t let the bad guy back into the fight.
Consider securing the person in a manner that does not put you in danger. Make sure that he cannot get back into the fight or access a weapon that you are unaware of.
The Good Samaritan did a good job of keeping his mobility while holding the choked out aggressor down in that he likely would have seen a second person approach him. Unlikely, but you find yourself in this situation (as a skilled person), consider a means of restraining that does not put the person’s body in a configuration that interferes with his ability to breathe, especially if he is going to be restrained for a significant amount of time. If the threat is over, and you hold the person in a manner that causes him to die from positional asphyxia, this could be a big legal problem for you.
Have an understanding of the laws regarding use of force
Also, hopefully you have a good understanding of use of force and are able to articulate why what you did was reasonable if the police are to be involved, and why it was the least amount of force necessary to stop the threat.
Consider if the person who recorded the video started recording at the beginning of the choke rather than showing the previous aggression, you might have a completely different story being told to the police from what was apparent given when the video started. Also- keep in mind we don’t know what happened prior to the beginning of the video.
Train smart & stay safe,
NOVA Self Defense