NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New Yorker is being praised for using his training in martial arts to stop an alleged attempted kidnapping.
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon spoke to the Good Samaritan on Tuesday.
Incredible bystander video captures the dramatic moment Brian Kemsley and others helped stop the alleged crime.
“He definitely had full intentions of taking the child. He did say, ‘This is my baby,'” Kemsley said.
The incident happened on Nov. 9 at around 3 p.m. Kemsley, 33, was in Madison Square Park when he heard screaming.
He said a woman with two children, one of them in a stroller, was desperately trying to get away from an attacker.
“I saw some people trying to break the grip of a man that was holding on to a stroller,” Kemsley said. “As soon as they peeled his hands off the stroller, the mom made a break for it and things escalated from there.”
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That’s when Kemsley, a Muy Thai instructor whose also trained in Jiu Jitsu, stepped in.
“I got him to the ground with what’s called a ‘rear naked choke.’ I let go of the choke adjusted and went to a seatbelt grip,” Kemsley said.
He held the man down for 15 minutes until park security arrived.
He said at one point the crowd flagged down an NYPD van, but it drove off without helping.
Kemsley said it took officers nearly 30 in minutes to show up.
Police said officers arrived at Madison Square Park after receiving reports about an emotionally disturbed person. That individual was taken into custody and transported to Bellevue Hospital for a psychological evaluation.
Kemsley said the incident proves certain situations, especially those involving mentally ill individuals, can be handled in a nonviolent matter.
He doesn’t consider himself a hero.
“The standard for being a hero should never be set this low. It was literally a mom screaming with her child and I stepped in,” he said. “I’ll tell you who the hero is, the gentleman that came up to me afterwards with a big bottle of hand sanitizer and just used the entire three months’ supply of hand sanitizer on me. That guy was the hero.”
He said the mother eventually returned to thank him for his help.
He’s just glad her kids are okay.
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