A man terrorized pedestrians when he went on a violent spree, sucker punching victim after victim on a New York City sidewalk. Unfortunately for him, he ran into a professional MMA fighter.
Citizens were shocked when a man reportedly began randomly attacking unsuspecting pedestrians as they traveled down a sidewalk in Manhattan’s Soho shopping district. According to witnesses, 28-year-old Samuel Frazier struck several people in the face and head as they walked past him.
Witnesses say that Frazier stunned his victims with unprovoked attacks, sucker punching them while they weren’t looking, according to the New York Post. He likely would’ve continued his violent spree if he hadn’t run into 44-year-old Ro Malabanan, who happened to be a professional fighter.
With several battered victims in his wake, Frazier allegedly continued down the sidewalk, scoping out his next target. When he reared back and struck yet another individual in the back of the head, Ro Malabanan, a skilled mixed martial artist, was there to intervene.
Malabanan, a 44-year-old with a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a yellow belt in judo, just happened to be walking to his job as a boxing instructor when he saw Frazier attack a construction worker. After ensuring the victim was okay, Malabanan chased down the suspect and tackled him from behind.
“My jiu-jitsu instincts just kicked in. I jumped on his back,” Malabanan said. “He tried to swing me off then — but for those of you in the know — a seatbelt position dragged him down to the floor, and I immediately took his back and pinned him to the ground.”
As Malabanan held Frazier at bay, other alleged victims gathered around. Some of the victims then began retaliating against the suspect, but Malabanan de-escalated the situation by ordering everyone to stop and call the police instead.
“Out of nowhere people were like ‘Yeah this guy punched me in the face,’ ‘Yeah this guy hit me,’ ‘This guy hit an old guy,’” Malabanan said. “Just another day. A lot of crazies out there in the streets right now so just please be careful. They will sucker-punch you. They will take out their frustrations.”
Malabanan restrained Frazier until police arrived. An initial investigation concluded that Frazier committed “unprovoked” strikes to the heads of a 50-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy. Malabanan says he believes that the suspect attacked at least six victims and claims that he was “playing the victim” when he was caught. Frazier was charged with second-degree harassment, attempted assault with intent to cause physical injury, and two counts of recklessly causing physical injury. All of his charges are misdemeanors.
“They were walking into me,” Frazier was filmed explaining to Malabanan as he pleaded for mercy on the ground. “Nah, that’s bulls–t, bro, you still don’t punch people in the face for no f—ing reason,” the fighter retorted as tourists standing outside the Museum of Ice Cream looked on.
Ro Malabanan rejects the notion that he did anything out of the ordinary. For him, it was just another day exercising his skills, this time outside of the gym.
“Everybody’s calling me a hero but, frankly speaking, it was easy work. Honestly, some of the white belts that I deal with in my gym, in my academy, were a lot tougher than that guy.”
Malabanan hopes that his video will not only spark awareness concerning how dangerous the streets of New York have become but also encourage citizens to learn to defend themselves so that they aren’t completely at the mercy of violent offenders.