Published Nov 18, 2020Years on from playing guitar with Maine punks Outbreak, Brian Kemsley is now a New York-based Muay Thai instructor, and is being hailed as a hero for using his martial arts skills to stop an attempted baby abduction in Manhattan.
Kemsley recalled to the New York Daily News how he came to intervene, sitting with his girlfriend in Madison Square Park earlier this month (November 9) when he heard a scream nearby. Upon investigating, he came upon a man trying to take a woman's baby from a stroller, while two other men attempted to confront the attacker.
"[The attacker] is saying things like, 'How do you know this isn't my baby? Why are you helping her? This could be my baby, you don't know that,'" Kemsley said, sharing that he got involved upon the man becoming violent.
Sharing bystander footage of the takedown on Facebook, Kemsley stressed that the goal was to restrain the man after "things escalated pretty quick."
"Here's the thing, I don't enjoy jujitsu. I don't think training is fun at all," he wrote. "But I have a lot of respect for it as it is absolutely essential in a street fight, or for self defense...It is way more effective to be able to control someone's movements and limbs than it is to break your hand swinging, and hurting the them as well."
Kemsley added that after 10 minutes of restraining the man, police were flagged down by passerby, only to stop briefly before driving off. "Cops took 30 minutes to show up, I had to hold him down for over 15 mins before park security even came around to cuff him," he shared. "You can't rely on cops, you can't rely on just blasting people with a gun, go train, go learn this. The limited jujitsu I learned over 6 years ago allowed me to control a strong raging full grown man like he was a baby."
"Throughout the whole thing, it became clear that this man actually had mental issues," Kemsley told the Daily News, adding, "The bar for being a hero should not be this low...It should be a duty, a civic duty for all to do."
In a post yesterday, Kemsley shared that his heroics have also led to being banned from Instagram. "My...account has been 'permanently disabled' because after news networks ran the 'kidnapping' story, a bunch of people went onto my gram and evidently reported all my anti Trump / pro BLM / anti racist posts I've made. Conservatives were about to go on my page and thank me for being a good citizen and got triggered when they saw me in a "make racists afraid again hat" also... can anyone help me get back to my account? Thanks."
Find Kemsley's complete play-by-play of the good deed below.
Play by play - Brought him down w a rear naked choked. Let it go and transitioned to a seatbelt. Got 2nd hook in. Laid him flat on my left side. At this point his weight had been pinned on my left leg for 10 minutes, my leg was going numb so I needed to transition to my right side. We saw cops and waved them down. They stopped, looked, and drove off. The man tried to head butt me backwards twice. After another 5 mins park security arrive and i asked them for cuffs. A man in the crowd let's them know I was getting tired as I've been holding him for over 15 mins. I ask them to cuff the left hand first where I had good control, then rolled him over and cuffed the right hand. I'm then able to stand back him, put on my shoes, and get to Evolution Muay Thai in time for my training. The man got taken into a psych ward. The woman returned to the scene after running off initially to thank everyone. I might have Covid now.