It was about a mile between the apartment I live in on Sutro Street and my workplace, ATC/CitiLift. I walked the distance nearly every morning and evening.
One night I was on my way home when a young woman got out of a car and ran up to me, asking for help. She said she needed protection from her ex-boyfriend who was driving the car.
I had jus’ gotten my first-ever cellular phone, so I dialed 9-1-1 as the man in the car turned the vehicle around and was driving the wrong way on the street.
As he pulled the car to a stop, the woman stepped behind me. It was obvious she was afraid of this guy and soon I was afraid of him too.
The ex-boyfriend got out of the car. He was Samoan, well over six-and-a-half feet tall and easily weighed more than 300 muscular pound.
I said, “Sir, you don’t want to do this—besides I’ve called the cops and they’ll be here in a few seconds.”
He was facing south, so he must have seen the police cruiser as it approached. However he didn’t care what happened as he rushed us.
As ungentlemanly as it may sound, I pushed the woman into the bushes. I then side-stepped his attack, jumping on the back of his right knee, with the hopes of breaking the joint.
It didn’t work. Instead he grabbed my shirt as I passed him.
Luckily, I was able to pop out of it and spin around on him. I tried my best to wrap my left forearm around his neck and lock him in a sleeper-hold, but his neck was too large.
Instead I kicked off his lower back, pushing myself about 15 feet away from where we first made physical contact. He turned around and sped at me like a charging bull.
All I could do was drop down and slam my body into his feet, tripping him to the ground. About that time, three Reno Policemen joined in the fight and subdued him.
After they had him cuffed and in a car, the lead officer came up and berated me saying, “That was a stupid act. He could have seriously hurt you!”
My response was, “Yeah and standing still — could’ve got me killed!”