In the last two years there have been several shocking attacks caught on video of people being attacked and beaten while nearby adults did absolutely nothing to help out. Find out how not to panic and freeze when confronted by violence against you or others

In the last two years there have been several shocking attacks caught on video of people being attacked and beaten with nearby adults doing absolutely nothing to help out. One disgusting incident occurred in Akron, Ohio and was broadcast all across the country. It happened in a small pizza parlor where a very big man--weighing around 300 pounds starting punching a much smaller man in the face. The assault started over a verbal altercation between the large mans lady friend and the victim. You might be saying to yourself people get into physical altercations everyday . . . so what’s the big deal? First, the big man hit the other in the face unexpectedly, which is sometimes called a sucker punch. That first punch probably rendered him unconscious, however, he continued hitting him 7 or 8 more times. People die from the kind of beating he was dishing out. Here’s another reason this incident was such a big deal—on a different scale. There were 7 other adult males in this very small pizza shop who stood by and did absolutely nothing to help the man being pummeled. Albeit, the man was very large, seemingly under the influence of alcohol or drugs and seemed crazy (in the tough guy sense) yet, none of the seven did ANYTHING to stop the man. Nothing! Shocking? Yes. Surprising? Not really.

Recently, in May of 2007 another incident was caught on video that was just as shocking as the pizza shop fiasco. America watched as a young man, probably in his twenties who was in the process of carjacking his vehicle, repeatedly punched a 91-year-old man in the face. There were three or four people, less than 25 feet from where the assault was occurring, which by the way happened in broad daylight, and here’s the kicker--no one did anything to help this 91 year old man as he was getting punched mercilessly!
There are other similar incidents, which happen more often than we imagine, however, most of them simply do not get captured on video.

The reason the pizza shop incident wasn’t surprising to me was because many people fall into a fear “trap”. This essentially occurs because they’re not used to this type of in-your-face graphic violence. They are shocked and scared by what is completely foreign to them. Consequently, they experience an adrenalin reaction, which is normal, however, it overwhelms them.

Documented phenomenon has occurred to people who have been caught in mass shooting situations similar to the recent Virginia Tech tragedy. People, who were being shot at, sometimes just froze and stood there and made it easier for the gunmen to shoot them. Some did not even attempt to run. This also has occurred in other major traumatic or shocking events, like in my opinion, the pizza parlor incident.

While watching graphic violence on television and playing extremely violent video games certainly can make it easier for some people to become violent and pull a trigger, the vast majority of American citizens get completely shocked when actually confronted by graphic violence. They become shocked, scared and even frozen. Again, this happens in shooting situations, sexual assaults and traumatic life threatening events.

Were those people who did nothing in the Pizza shop cowards? I bet some of them, think they were. However, I’ll also bet most of them would not do the same thing again if confronted with a similar incident. I’m sure they did soul searching and some deep thought and if confronted by a similar incident again, I believe they’d do something. And if they think they’re cowards or others think of themselves as cowards because they too have not helped out when they should have, they don’t have to feel that way. A true explanation of cowardice is “that a man is a coward from the time he should have been brave, to the next time he has the opportunity to be brave”. This means no on has to be branded a coward or for that matter brand himself or herself a coward. There’s always tomorrow . . . to not be a coward.

Yet, many people need help in knowing what to do in situations of violence so they do not freeze or panic to the point of not helping others or even themselves.

There are real ways, actually simple ways, to head off fear and panic in these incidents.

Here are some solid cornerstone tips to follow. Follow them and you’ll be much better off and ready to function when you need to do the right thing:

• Understand- from this moment on, terrible things such as witnessing someone being stabbed, shot or being beaten badly may occur and it very well may even occur to you. Realize, know and believe that gruesome, shocking, ugly incidents can happen to you, and it may even happen today.

• Believe- that you will be able to do something by relying on your life-instinct to run, fight or to use a tool or weapon to “make it”.

• Commit-to the fact that you will fight back no matter how bad, ugly or shocking the situation is that you’re confronted with. Fighting back of course means fighting, but it could also mean running away or as a wise man once said advancing to the rear; whatever works for you for that particular incident. Although, you will fight, no matter what. You can make it.

These affirmations condition your mind to handle what may occur, and also how your mind can handle it. If and when an incident occurs, your mind will have data to help itself to understand and function. Depending on your particular location or circumstances quickly affirming these principals once a week should be enough for them to take hold.
Now, if someone is being attacked or beaten-up and you know that physically you can not really help, consider blowing your car horn, hollering or making some other noise that might bring the assault to the attention of someone else whom may be able to help. Or you can consider using an improvised self-defense tool or weapon. As an example, in the pizza shop merciless attack, one could have used a fire extinguisher or other hard object that may have been nearby to hit the attacker over the head. Would that have been an appropriate level of force to help an innocent person from possibly being killed? Yes, it would have been.

As for groups of people; the most effective way they can take control of a thug is by the group getting together and rushing the predator, taking him to the ground and holding him there. This goes for airplane incidents, pizza parlor incidents or really anywhere else. Experienced police officers know one of the better ways to control a crazed, big, violent man if Pepper Spray or a Taser is not be available or feasible, is to use the power of many bodies basically jumping on the man to effectively control him. This of course depends on working as a team, which may be easier, said than done, however, it’s a fact and if a group can work as one, they can be effective in helping themselves or others.

It is the civilized and right thing to do to help others--not to mention ourselves. With the right knowledge and understanding we can take the action needed to survive and help.

Author's Bio: 

Steve Kovacs is the author of Protect Yourself: The Simple Keys Woman Need To Be Safe and Secure. Steve's a former police supervisor and Regional Training Director in the State of Ohio. Steve's been inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame and The International Karate and Kickboxing Hall of Fame. Steve's taught security at the college level and has been utilized by national media in areas of safety and security. Steve serves as President of All-Source Security Services which is located in Ohio and does select seminars. Contact Steve anytime at: