NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – CBS2 spoke exclusively with the man in a viral video on the subway. The man was forced to pull his firearm when he says a violent suspect threatened him with a bat in Brooklyn.
Cell phone video captured the tense Wednesday morning rush-hour standoff on a Brooklyn G train. A man with a bat was just inches away from a man with a gun.
“You’re threatening me, you’re threatening me, and you’re threatening my property.”
The person who shot the video said passengers rushed to the other side of the car when they saw the firearm come out.
“People were climbing over each other and under the seats trying to stay low,” James Van Deusen told CBS2.
After several tense moments, the gunman identified himself as a cop.
“I’m a police officer, you’re under arrest.”
“What you don’t see in the video, he did take the bat out and he did put it behind his back for a swing… so when I took out my revolver that’s when he decided not to swing,” David Morales, a former NYPD detective told CBS2’s Valerie Castro.
Morales was a 28-year veteran of the department.
He is licensed to carry a firearm as part of his current job with the city’s administration for children’s services. He added that he never thought he would need it on the way to work.
“Apparently my bag must have touched his bag and he must have been having a really, really bad day, and he erupted,” Morales said.
“I could see he had some issues. I don’t know what they were, but he was really angry.”
“You’re threatening my property,” the bat wielding suspect is heard saying.
Morales said the man then began to threaten “consequences.”
“That’s when I said ‘okay I’m in trouble here’ and took out my gun to make sure that he would stay away from me,” the former police officer explained.
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa says the officer did what most people can’t do.
“A lot of times it’s average everyday people who have no weapons and they generally run for cover, but sometimes you can’t run, you can’t hide, and you have to deal with what could be the monster or the beast,” Sliwa argued.
Morales said he simply reverted to his police training.
NYPD Transit tweeted a photo saying “Detective Morales showed calm and restraint” and “Dave’s concern and care for kids carried over to fellow subway riders yesterday.”
“I think he was looking to commit a crime that day, if it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else,” Det. Morales added.
The man, believed to be homeless, was later identified as Brian Baksa.
He was eventually arrested near the Clinton Street stop in Fort Greene and charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.