Saturday, 7 January 2017

Witnessing an Act of Violence

On Monday the 2nd of January, my husband and I witnessed an act of violence that was both disturbing because of the act itself, and disgusting because of the lack of response by the people around us and the police we managed to flag down.

It was 3.30 in the afternoon as we drove along a busy 4 lane road.  Three men were beating on a man that appeared to be trying to get away from them.  As he tried to cross the road, the three men were pounding on him, and he fell onto the street. Once on the ground, they began to kick him and stomp him.  I did not witness him trying to strike back, only trying to protect himself in order to fend off their attack.

A car actually screeched to a halt in front of them on the road, then quickly drove around them. In fact, many cars simply veered around the altercation and kept going. No one stopped, no one. Except us. We were on the other side of the road and managed to pull over directly opposite the altercation.

As husband got out of the car and walked towards them he said to me,"Call the police!". My iPhone was turned off. I quickly turned it on and as I waited for it to power up, I jumped out of the car and stood to the side of it.  I held my phone up as if I was filming the entire incident – whilst I waited for the phone to turn on. I continued to hold up the phone (like a mighty shield) and “pretended” to film the three men. I remember saying something like, “Back off! You better leave!”.

Husband managed to very calmly retrieve the bloodied and badly beaten man from the road.  The three men backed away – but lingered around as we both tried to help the poor fellow.

His English was poor. He was obviously Middle-Eastern, possibly Turkish. My thoughts were that this might have been a racist attack, but I don’t know that for sure. All I know at this point is that I as I continued to “pretend” to video the men across the street (they were yelling….I have no idea what they were saying), my phone powered up, and I spotted a police car coming towards us down the street. I stood in the street and flagged them down.

We helped as much as possible. I told the two policemen that the three men across the road were the men that we witnessed assaulting the man who was now sitting on the back of my car. This poor fellow needs an ambulance. I very clearly pointed these three men out to the police. They are standing across the road. There they are. They are just lurking about. Over there – the police did nothing to go and get the blokes, or approach them, or question them or go after them.  They did, however, help the man to the back seat of their patrol car.

Husband and I both gave statements to the policeman. By this time, there were a few of his friends that had gathered by the patrol car to see if he was okay.  I didn’t recognise the language they were speaking – but they were very grateful to us for the little help that we were able to provide.

Feeling that we did all that we could do and that the police were satisfied with our statements, we carried on with our journey.

Helpful, or foolish? I can understand why no one stopped. It
was a frightening thing to witness and certainly not something that is seen very often (thank goodness). I know that there is a danger of stopping and being a helpful person and believe me, I have thought all this through from every possible angle. The “what ifs” kept me occupied all night and I didn’t sleep a wink. But I think there is a bigger danger of not stopping.

Needless to say, I know the phone-filming trick helped keep them across the road. I know my husband’s cool demeanour kept the situation from escalating further and I know I will be adding a first aid kit to my car. I did wonder what the situation was all about. Husband said it didn’t matter – three men on one was simply not right.

My husband was. I am proud of him and his courage.  I am also glad I drive a Toyota Rav 4 that has a very sharp turning radius and can cause serious damage if it were to run into three people who are violently attacking someone.

Husband did call the next day to make sure that the man we helped was okay. He had been taken to a hospital and an investigation will be made. 

I am glad for that. I am glad we stopped and we were able to help. I think it says a lot about the character of my husband - likewise, it says a lot about the character of those who didn't stop.


  1. The unwillingness of people to get involved is something that baffles me. When you see something wrong, and ignore it, you are contributing to whatever the problem is. Thank you both. I have no explanation for the Police response, unless they knew the suspects and were most concerned for the victim and his well-being. By the way, great use of your phone...

  2. I am so glad you're ok! And it helps me feel not so alone be in my country where this kind of behavior is becoming acceptable due to our lack of maturity during the elections. Our world is beyond troubled, but it is always hope giving to hear stories such as yours (and first hand)! Thank you for sharing, thank you (and your husband) for caring, and thanks for the example and standard you set! I hope I can be as brave when I get confronted with a similar situation! Love you!��

  3. Why didn't the police go after them????


Application of Knowledge: Digital Literacy Skills Checklist

Knowledge is really about the accumulation of facts and ideas that we acquire through study, research, investigation, observation, or exp...