A New Yorker put his martial arts skills to use and thwarted an attempted baby-snatching in a Big Apple park last week, pinning the perp down for 15 minutes until authorities arrived, he said Monday.
Brian Kemsley, a 33-year-old Muay Thai coach, stepped in when he saw a man trying to grab a baby inside a stroller from a woman who was also holding another child in her arms last Monday in Madison Square Park.
“I was trying to get him away from the mother, and let her get away to safety … But toward the end of it, I was also trying to keep the guy safe from the mob,” he told The Post.
The NYPD said it responded to the park that day 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.
The foiled kidnapping — first reported by PIX11 — was captured on cellphone footage showing Kemsley tackling the man to the ground and holding him there.
As he was holding him, Kemsley said, he realized that the man, who kept itching for a fight, was also unwell, at one point appearing to think he was speaking to President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.
Kemsley said that despite having trained in martial arts, including jiujitsu for a decade, he was “worried about passing out and losing my grip” by the end of the 15 minutes.
“Here’s the thing, I don’t enjoy jiujitsu, I don’t think training is particularly fun, but I have a lot of respect for it as it is absolutely essential in a street fight and self-defense,” he said in an Instagram post about the incident.
“I’d like to point out that when it comes to community security, that smashing someone should not be the priority,” he added in another post.
“We’re not suppose to show up with sticks and start beating people. The priority should always be to defuse the situation safely and as non violently as possible so we do not escalate the situation.”
After the ordeal, Kemsley said a bystander lent him a bottle of hand sanitizer that he “used in one shot.”
Then “everyone started clapping, everyone was grateful.”
“That was a very nice moment,” he recalled.