Today I played this game again. Well, even if everything is going virtual those days, the experience was very real... Long story short : an old lady was grabbing money on an ATM and a young mobster was assaulting her.
At first, I thought this was some young couple having fun (you know, with those hair coloration, you can't tell from 10 meters looking at her back if she was young or not... Say NO to artificial colors ! Gray is sexy ...). But when I saw the walking stick falling down, I switched to Berseck mode. That mean : you don't think about the consequences. Ok, would the guy looked like Mike Tyson, I probably would have thought a bit more, but, well, you know, there is something in your brain that short-circuits in such situations.
I grab the guy, choked him, and he started to suffocate. He released the money. The woman was safe. I was safe. I asked someone to call the police.
Now, many lessons learned :
- First, people around you in such situation don't know what to do. There were 3 guys, quite young (30 years old), they were just watching; I had to yell at one of them so that he called the police. Lesson one : John Doe is not used to violence, whatever movie he is watching.
- Second, I remember that I had to release his neck, so that he can breeze. My "idea" was that it could kill him, and I didn't want that to happen. So I put him on the ground, trying to lock him, as I learned when I was doing Judo, 30 years ago. Lesson two : it's not because you did one year of Judo training that you are still good at it, 30 years later...
- Third, of course, this guy wasn't waiting the police calmly... he was trying his best to escape, well, using a mix of whining, and desesperate move to get away. He wasn't violent though : no pinches, no teeth, no punch, just like a snake, trying to escape. At some point, he turned me down, and I was under. Not good. He escaped. Lesson three : Secure your hold, don't try to change your position, when it's safe. He might have suffocated, but probably won't have passed out.
- Forth, when he started to run away, the other peeps just did very little to stop him. So he was away. Good for him. Anyway, he was under 18, and would have probably spent a day or to in jail, and would have been released. He was not french either, that mean there is very few the police can do. My bet is that he was a kind of refugee, and needed the money badly. I can understand that. Life is a battle. Lesson four : Don't expect any help. the fight lasted for something like 2 minutes, and *nobody* tried to give me a hand. Probably plain normal.
- Last, not least, the ground is dirty and tough. Even if he didn't fought back, I got some scratches. Also, my physical condition was not perfect : I was injured as I fall down from my bicycle 3 days ago, and at some point, I didn't want to increase the injury. Lesson five : it's *exhausting*. I never thought that a 2 minutes action was so demanding. It took me 5 minutes to recover after this effort. Ok, I'm 44, but I do ride my bicycle every day (around 20km a day). It does help a little.
At the end, I wish I don't have to do that again. Nobody was injured, the woman did get her money back, the young mobster had a new chance to behave better (hmmm, ok, I'm not that optimist). So all is good !
PS: Calling the police in Paris in August is simply not possible. They never showed up, they didn't even replied the call ;)