Blaze News original: 10 inspiring examples of Good Samaritans who ran toward danger to help others, often defeating bad guys

News & Politics

Blaze News last month reported on an entire family of taekwondo black belts who rushed to a business next door to their Houston studio after hearing screams and rescued a female from an attempted sexual assault.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez hailed the heroic act on X, calling the family of five a “group of good samaritans” [sic].

‘I was just yelling, “F your gun!” and I was just hitting him in his ribs. It was great. You know, America stuff.’

The family consists of Grandmaster Han An — the dad — as well as Hong An — the mom — and siblings Hannah An, 22, Simon An, 20, and Christian An, 18, KHOU-TV reported. They all hold at least fourth-degree black belts in taekwondo, with their dad boasting an eighth-degree black belt.

Simon An told the station his family members were coming back from lunch around 4 p.m. when they heard screaming coming from the Cricket Wireless store, which is located near their training center in the Cypress area.

Hannah An told KHOU that when they opened the doors, she “saw a man on top of a woman, and the woman was on the ground.” Simon An told NBC News the attacker’s hands were “in [in]appropriate places” as the female tried to fend him off.

Grandmaster An immediately took down the male suspect, KHOU said, adding that Simon An and Christian An stepped up as well. Simon An told NBC News that “the intruder was trying to run away — scratching, biting, anything he could do,” but Grandmaster An held down the attacker for 10 minutes until law enforcement arrived.

Gonzalez told KHOU that 19-year-old Alex Robinson was arrested and charged with attempted sexual assault, unlawful detention, and assault on the instructors. You can view KHOU’s interview with members of the An family here.

Ah, Good Samaritans. The ones who go out of their way to help others, often putting themselves in danger in the process.

The following are 10 other examples of Good Samaritans who ran toward life-threatening situations in order to help others — and a number of them physically defeated the bad guys.

UFC fighter takes down shooting suspect in restaurant, puts him to sleep using choke hold

Kevin Holland celebrates his TKO victory over Alex Oliveira of Brazil after their catchweight fight during UFC 272 at T-Mobile Arena, March 5, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada — a little over a week before he brought down an armed male at a Houston restaurant.

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

UFC fighter Kevin Holland took down an armed male at a Houston restaurant on March 16, 2022, Yahoo! Sports reported. A suspect identified as 24-year-old Jesus Samaniego allegedly pulled out a gun and fired at least one shot near the bar area of Ra Sushi in Highland Village around 11:30 p.m., according to reports.

Holland indicated that he used a rear naked choke to subdue the suspect but didn’t even realize at first that shots had been fired, ESPN said: “I was facing one way, and then we he heard a big, loud bang. I thought it was a champagne bottle popping because the people behind us were having a birthday party. I go to look around, and I see people running, like they had the look of death on [their] face[s], like super worried.”

He said that he and a friend initially took cover but saw the gunman — who reportedly was waving a pistol at several patrons — out of the corner of his eye, and then Holland jumped into action. ESPN reported that Holland “took the man into his lap, wrapped his legs around his legs, and put him in a rear naked choke submission hold.”

“As soon as he was [asleep], I let go of the choke, slid out on top, got full mount, stretched the arms out so he couldn’t reach for anything,” Holland added.

The suspect was taken into custody without incident and faced charges of deadly conduct and unlawfully carrying a weapon.

Holland wasn’t a stranger to such acts — the previous October he chased down and detained a carjacking suspect until police arrived.

Good Samaritan jumps in to help cop who’s struggling with suspect who grabbed for gun

The Brea Police Department in southern California said a foot pursuit followed a routine traffic stop over an obstructed license plate in the city of La Habra on Feb. 2, 2022. Police bodycam video KTLA-TV obtained shows an officer — an ex-football player — running after and finally catching up to the driver.

“They’re wrestling. The officer has his gun on his right side. And you can see the suspect’s trying to grab for his holster there,” Lieut. Chris Harvey told KTLA.

“In fact, he grabbed so violently that he broke the bolts that hold the handgun to the side rig the officer was wearing,” Harvey added to the station while noting the suspect called to a woman who had been a passenger in the car to help him get the officer’s gun.

That’s when an unknown man in a cowboy hat stepped in. Video — which you view here — shows him helping the officer until another officer arrives. Harvey said the man left before police could get his name.

“It may sound extreme to say the officer was fighting for his life, but under the circumstances, you have to consider what is the suspect’s intention in grabbing the officer’s gun,” Harvey told KTLA, adding “so yeah, that is absolutely a fight for your life.”

Police said they want to find the Good Samaritan to thank him and ask him to be a witness in the case. Later police in an update said the man came forward but didn’t want any public or media attention.

After 3 males carjack motorist at gunpoint, Good Samaritan gives victim some surprising assistance — and all suspects are caught

Zakee Brinkley

Image source: Shelby County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office

After three males carjacked a motorist at gunpoint in Memphis on Aug. 13, 2023, a Good Samaritan gave the victim some surprising assistance, after which authorities captured all three suspects.

Memphis police told Blaze News the victim was carjacked around 6 p.m. in the 5300 block of Knight Arnold Road. WREG-TV said the victim was sitting in his 2012 Dodge Charger when three individuals approached him. One of the males, later identified as Zakee Brinkley, pointed a gun at the victim and demanded his vehicle, the station said, citing reports. The victim got out of the car, and the suspects drove off, WREG said.

Then came a big surprise. Police said the victim flagged down a stranger and got in the stranger’s car. They followed the victim’s Charger, and the victim called police and told them the direction in which they were headed, the station said.

While officers located the vehicle and tried to stop it, the driver refused to pull over, WREG said. Soon the vehicle crashed in the 1700 block of Lochearn Road, and the three suspects fled, the station said. Brinkley, the front passenger, was caught and taken into custody, WREG said, adding that police found a 9mm gun on him.

Police added to Blaze News that the two other suspects were taken into custody around the same time Brinkley was caught, but they’re both 17 years of age — minors — so they aren’t being named, and there’s no information regarding whether they’re still in custody. Police told Blaze News the two minor suspects were charged with carjacking.

As for Brinkley, WREG said he’s charged with carjacking, employing a firearm with intent to commit a felony, and evading arrest. Jail records indicate that Brinkley posted a $50,000 bond Aug. 14.

Ex-MMA fighter chokes out wanted felon who violently attacked police officer

William Cassoday, 39, and his wife were on their way to visit his mother on May 16, 2022, in Portage, Indiana, to show her their new car — and he saw a male punching a Porter County sheriff’s patrolman in the face.

Cassoday — an ex-MMA fighter and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu trainer who was working on getting his black belt — stopped to help and took down the culprit with ease.

“I’m 280 pounds,” Cassoday told WMAQ-TV. “This guy was probably half my size.”

The station said Cassoday put his arm around the male’s neck from behind and used his other arm to tighten the grip in a rear naked choke: “He couldn’t do anything because I was squeezing on his neck, and then he kinda felt like he went limp for a second, and so I loosen[ed] it up.”

Cassoday’s wife, Marisa McDaniel, told WMAQ, “Not a lot of people would have done that. He was very courageous. He didn’t have to think twice; he did what he had to do.”

Cassoday pinned the man within 15 seconds, and the police officer recovered to handcuff the suspect, whom the sheriff’s office identified as 37-year-old Christopher Delgado, WMAQ said.

Patrolman Jamison Smith noticed Delgado walking down the street and stopped him for an outstanding warrant for auto theft, the station said, adding that Delgado allegedly attacked Smith during the confrontation, leaving him with swelling above his right eye from a punch.

Delgado was charged with battery, resisting arrest, and providing false information to police, WMAQ said.

Law enforcement officials said they “cannot thank Mr. William Cassoday enough for his courageous actions,” the station reported.

“Putting his own safety aside, he ran into harm’s way, assisting Officer Smith in taking a felon into custody,” Porter County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Benjamin McFalls told the Lake Geneva Regional News.

“Mr. Cassoday willingly jumped into a fight, in which our officer was being violently attacked,” McFalls added. “Mr. Cassoday exemplified what it means to be a resident of Porter County. We will be honoring him in the near future.”

Heroic dads speak out after tackling suspected shooter at Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade, repeatedly punching him 

After at least one armed thug opened fire at the Super Bowl parade for the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 14, a pair of dads ran down the alleged gunman, tackled him, and began punching him.

Trey Filter and Paul Contreras, previously unknown to one another, both stressed that inaction was never an option: “It was just: Just do it.”

Filter was with his wife and two sons when gunshots rang out, after which someone yelled, “Get him!” he told the New York Post.

“My brain tells me, ‘That must be him,'” recalled Filter. “I literally remember when I was tackling him, ‘I sure hope this is who they were yelling at me to get.’ Because I just went, ‘Boom!’ … I really don’t recall seeing him coming.” Although Filter managed to leap onto the alleged shooter and bring him to the ground, the suspected gunman managed to wiggle free.

KETV-TV reported that Paul Contreras of Bellevue, Nebraska, was with his three daughters when they heard what they figured to be fireworks. However, when it became clear that it was gunfire — and that the alleged shooter was on the loose — his parental instincts went into high gear.

Contreras reportedly spotted another man chasing down a suspect and yelling for someone to assist. “I didn’t think about it,” Contreras told KETV. “It’s just a reaction. I didn’t hesitate. It was just: Just do it.”

“So I went to go tackle him and another gentleman did the same thing,” Contreras continued. “And as I’m tackling him, I see his weapon either fall out of his hand or out of his sleeve, ’cause he was wearing a long jacket.”

Filter’s wife, Casey, lunged for the weapon after it hit the ground and tried to secure it, reported the Post.

“So when I see that hit the ground, I’m like, ‘Oh, you know. We gotta take this guy down,'” added Contreras.

The Nebraska dad said that he and the other Good Samaritan held the suspect down for what “seemed like forever, but it probably … was like 30 seconds” until police arrived. When Filter saw Contreras wrestling with the suspected gunman in the dirt, he leaped back into action and began punching the suspect.

“I don’t know if I knocked him out when I tackled him or what, but I had him squeezed so hard he might have been passed out all the time for all I know. I just started racking him in his ribs,” Filter told the Post. “I was just yelling, ‘F your gun!’ and I was just hitting him in his ribs. It was great. You know, America stuff.”

Contreras reportedly punched the alleged gunman’s face: “The whole time he’s fighting to get up and run away. … We’re fighting to keep him down, and he’s fighting to get up.”

After police made the arrest and nearby witnesses applauded the dads’ efforts, Filter told his boys, “Get your mother, we’re getting the f*** out of here.”

Martial arts coach saves the day when male tries to snatch baby from stroller right in front of screaming mother

Brian Kemsley was walking with his girlfriend on Nov. 9, 2020, near New York City’s Madison Square Park when he saw a male trying to grab a baby from a stroller, WPIX-TV reported. Kemsley, a 33-year-old Muay Thai coach, immediately put his skills to use, the New York Post reported.

He told WPIX the assailant was asked to let go of the stroller but kept reaching for the baby; the mother was holding a toddler, both of whom were screaming, as was the growing crowd around them.

Cellphone video shows Kemsley tackling the male, the Post said. Kemsley pinned him and waited for authorities to arrive, WPIX reported. You can view a video report about the incident — which includes the cellphone clip — here.

“It’s not a matter of stepping in; it’s a matter of duty, when you see a woman and her child screaming,” Kemsely told WPIX.

New York City police told the paper they responded to the park around 3:35 p.m. for a report of an emotionally disturbed person who was taken into custody and to Bellevue hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

Kemsley told the Post that the perpetrator — who kept trying to fight — seemed unwell mentally; at one point while being pinned, the male appeared to believe he was speaking to former President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

When it was all over, “everyone started clapping, everyone was grateful,” Kemsley added to the Post, noting that it “was a very nice moment.”

Bystanders tackle, hold down thief who tried to steal laptop from woman at cafe

San Francisco residents — likely fed up with rampant crime in the city — took action when a male allegedly tried to steal an expensive laptop from a woman at Sana’a Cafe on May 11. Video — which you can view here as part of a report on the incident — showed one man tackle the suspect, after which others jump in to help.

Citizen journalist “Frisco Live 415” interviewed the man who made the tackle: Henry Flynn, who has trained as a security guard.

“Luckily, within seconds, everyone ran outside, so I just told people to pick — someone on one leg, someone on another leg, and hold his arms as well — just so he could stop trying to fight and hit me, and that we could control him until the cops got here,” Flynn said.

The alleged thief reportedly was identified as 19-year-old Zachary Morris-Dadzie of Suisun City; he was charged with grand theft and second-degree burglary.

Some are calling Flynn a hero, but he told KRON-TV that he doesn’t feel that way: “Most people want to do the right thing. It just takes one person to really get ahead of it and everyone else will follow.”

Flynn — a 48-year-old, fourth-generation San Franciscan — also is running for mayor as a grassroots candidate: “I see myself representing the silenced majority of the city — the working class, the bread and butter of the city. I think what we need right now is the same thing that happened at that cafe where everyone came together.”

‘I knew what I had to do, and I just did it’: Customer shot while wrestling gun from armed robber in Circle K

Dalton Wheeler was in the middle of his pre-work routine on July 21, 2023 — buying a Red Bull from the Circle K on Cherry Road in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and catching up with the clerk, Miss Kathy, WBTV-TV said.

Wheeler said he was outside the store when he noticed a suspicious-looking male heading inside, WBTV said, citing Rock Hill police. “I see the guy come around the corner in all black — black hoodie and a black face mask,” Wheeler recounted to WSOC-TV.

That individual, identified as 18-year-old Richard Stayberg, was at the register, where the clerk was retrieving money to hand over to him, officers told WBTV. So Wheeler headed back inside the store. “I wasn’t fearful, I wasn’t scared — I was ready,” he told WBTV.

“I just walked up to him like I’m going to get behind him in line and buy what I’m going to buy, and then I just clothesline him,” Wheeler told WSOC. “I get him on the ground, and then I turn around and look at [the clerk] and I said, ‘Did I do the right thing?’ And she’s like ‘yes,’ and immediately emotions just dropped.”

Police added to WSOC that the suspect pulled a gun from his waistband, and as the pair fought over the weapon, Wheeler was shot twice. Police told WBTV Wheeler was found with wounds to his hand and buttocks.

“I knew what I had to do, and I just did it,” Wheeler added to WBTV.

Stayberg left the store, but officers soon found him nearby, WBTV reported, adding that he was charged with armed robbery, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

“I didn’t even break a bone in my hand,” Wheeler told WSOC of his wound there. “I was shot with a very high-caliber pistol. My hand should be shattered and gone, but it has full function.” You can view a video report about the incident here.

Good Samaritan climbs into horrific school bus wreckage, stays with injured driver until help arrives: ‘What’s amazing is that I was late today. Tell me why?’

A Good Samaritan was captured on video climbing into horrific school bus wreckage — the driver slammed into a pole after dropping off all students in the Pittsburgh area on the morning of Oct. 19, 2022 — and staying with the injured driver until rescue crews arrived. You can view a video report about the incident here.

Kenny Ferree, the man who rushed to the accident scene to help the driver, posed a question to KDKA-TV with otherworldly implications: “What’s amazing is I was running late today. Tell me why?”

Ferree told WPXI-TV he was driving down Ardmore Boulevard in Forest Hills with his wife when they heard a loud boom and saw yellow debris flying through the air: “I saw the windshield, the front hood assembly, the front axle, just rolling down the street, this big plume of smoke. It was a school bus.”

With that, Ferree pulled into a Taco Bell parking lot and ran to the bus, which was wrapped around a steel post underneath a Forest Hills sign, WPXI noted. “When you looked over, you could not believe that anything or anybody was left,” Ferree added to WPXI. “It disintegrated.”

Ferree noted to KDKA that the driver “looked like he was still conscious, just kind of shaken up. I crawled up into the wreckage, the closest I could get to him. His head was bleeding. … I took my shirt off, and I wrapped my shirt around his head and put his head back, and I held him.”

He also spoke to the driver for the next several minutes until paramedics arrived, WPXI reported: “I asked him, ‘Are you empty?’ And he said, ‘I’m empty.’ He kept saying, ‘I’m empty.’ There were no kids. You could see. [The bus] was split like a banana.”

Ferree added to WPXI, “I told him my name. He told me his name. We had a little conversation. He wasn’t sure what was going on.”

Allegheny County police said the driver was trapped in the bus, and first responders had to extricate him from it. Police added that the driver was taken to an area hospital in stable condition, and no students were on the bus at the time of the collision. WXPI said it took crews about 30 minutes to pull the driver from the wreckage.

Ex-con drags wounded cop out of line of fire amid lethal shootout: ‘I’ve got you!’

John Phillip Lally was driving to work around 10 a.m. Nov. 11, 2023, when he said he encountered what seemed to be a car accident and jumped out of his truck to help anyone who might be injured. Instead, he landed in the middle of a gun battle.

Lally, 40, told KRIV-TV he heard “gunshots going off. Then I looked to my left and saw that cop get shot.”

Police said Officer J. Gibson earlier tried to pull over a suspect in a stolen vehicle, but the suspect drove off, and Gibson gave chase, the station said. The suspect crashed into several cars on Highway 59 before Gibson approached the suspect’s vehicle on foot, giving him commands, the station said. The suspect instead fired at Gibson and shot him in the leg, the station said.

“That’s when I grabbed that cop by his vest and dragged him all the way back to my work truck,” Lally told the station, which added that Lally stayed with Gibson while other officers applied a tourniquet to his leg. You can view a video report about the incident here; it includes an interview with Lally along with clips showing how he helped the officer.

“I’ve been to jail a million times, bro!” Lally told Gibson, according to the video, “And I love cops dearly, bro! You’re gonna be all right.”

Police said the suspect got into another car and tried to get away, but police shot him numerous times, after which he died at a hospital. Investigators said the suspect was involved in a carjacking incident.

“A truly reformed individual is a person that we can use,” Houston Police Dept. Chief Troy Finner said of Lally. “He stepped up.”

In an interview with “Inside Edition,” Lally admitted to having numerous run-ins with law enforcement but said he had turned his life around: “It sucks that people got injured and even the man who caused the whole thing lost his life, but I think a higher power knows what they’re doing. If y’all see somebody that you can help, help them. That’s the main moral of the story.”

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