Former Wrestler Spots Man Physically Abusing Female Employee

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While an angry man physically and verbally abused a defenseless female, he had no idea he had captured the attention of a former wrestler who wasn’t about to let him get away with causing any more damage than he already had — and luckily for us, it was all caught on video.

Gabriel Pitzulo
As Gabriel Pitzulo entered his local Subway, he saw a man at the counter physically abusing an employee. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Gabriel Pitzulo, a former wrestler who works a couple of blocks from the Subway on East Hanna Avenue on Indianapolis’ south side, was known to frequent the sandwich shop a couple of times a week. On his lunch break, he’d order his usual — a sweet onion chicken teriyaki footlong on flat white bread. However, rather than simply receiving his typical hoagie, he became a hero during one eventful visit.

As Pitzulo approached the Subway restaurant on that fateful day, he immediately heard a commotion. Unfortunately, things only went from bad to worse as he walked inside. As Pitzulo approached the counter, he was met with an unappetizing sight: a man was verbally and physically abusing a defenseless female Subway employee, he told WRTV-TV.

“I heard it from outside,” Pitzulo recalled. “I had walked in and he was visibly assaulting [the employee], you know, throwing stuff. I believe I saw him spit at her,” he added. “And, how I was raised, you don’t do that stuff. It was kind of ‘go time’ from there.”

As Gabriel Pitzulo came up behind the man, he prepared to protect the defenseless Subway employee. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

As surveillance video shows, the angry and aggressive man, who was accosting the Subway employee, turned to walk away from the counter as Pitzulo approached. However, fearing the man — later identified as Daniel Saunders — could do more damage, the former wrestler wasn’t going to let him get away.

Instead, Gabriel Pitzulo grabbed the guy from behind, wrapping his arms around Saunder’s torso, before quickly and effortlessly taking him down to the store’s floor, where he would remain until authorities could deal with him.

“She didn’t seem like she could defend herself,” Pitzulo explained, adding, “I was afraid that he was either leaving to get something to harm her — she had said that he had threatened to kill her.”

Not willing to take the risk that Daniel Saunders could return and cause further harm to the female employee, Gabriel Pitzulo put his experience as a former wrestler and football player to work. After a successful tackle, he held the assault suspect until the police arrived minutes later.

“I did combat sports for quite a while, so I was completely controlling [him],” Pitzulo explained. “He [was] trying to bite me, and I didn’t want to punch him or anything. I didn’t want to hurt him too bad. I just held him, man.”

Thanks to the young man’s heroic efforts, Daniel Saunders was arrested at the scene and charged with battery resulting in bodily injury, The Blaze reported. As for the former athlete? He’s since received a heartfelt thank-you from district manager Aara Khan, who told WRTV that he’s grateful Pitzulo stepped up.

“It could’ve turned out very dangerous. Luckily he was here at the right time and the right place,” district manager Aara Khan told the station. “You can be a hero anytime, anywhere you go. Right place, right time, and that guy is a hero.”

Gabriel Pitzulo
Gabriel Pitzulo was hailed a hero after he tackled the suspect and held him until police arrived minutes later. (Photo Credit: Screenshots)

To further show their gratitude for Pitzulo’s courage, Subway said he is welcome to a free sandwich any time that he visits. However, the humble hero downplayed the accolades, saying he was just trying to do the right thing and giving credit to his Creator instead.

“All glory to God, man. He’s always protected me and put me in situations He knows — He can notice — that I can handle,” Pitzulo said. “I don’t feel like a hero, but I’m glad I did it.”

I don’t know about you, but I love a story with a happy ending. Not only did this young man courageously step up to protect a complete stranger, but he also helped get a violent thug off the street. Then, proving his character, he gave the glory to God. Gabriel Pitzulo might not consider himself a hero, but he is a role model. We hope that as his story is shared, it influences others to do the right thing when presented with an opportunity to glorify God. Job well done, young man.