Bullying Experiment

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bully free zone

Iraq War veteran Michael Anthony talks about battling bullies. Make sure to watch the bully experiment video at the end.

Several years back, I was going for a walk around my neighborhood—one of my usual weekly routines—and as I turned a corner on one particular day, I saw a man and woman struggling in front of me. I wasn’t sure what was going on between them until I saw the man pull back and punch the woman. I immediately ran over as she fell to the ground. They were still yelling as she fell. She was his wife, and apparently he had hit her before.

“Yeah call the police. I’ll Kick your ass.”

I jumped between the two of them, pushed the guy back with my body and covered up the woman. The guy backed off as I helped her to her feet. He began yelling at me: “What are you some tough guy? Yeah help her up pussy. I’ll kick your ass.”

He yelled in the background as I looked over and asked if she was alright. I then took out my phone and called the police (the process is actually a lot longer than you’d think).

He kept yelling, “Yeah. Call the police. I’ll kick your ass…”

He got in my face, “I’m talking to you, tough guy.”

I looked him up and down as he stood there. He wasn’t that big of a guy, maybe 5’11, 175lbs. Not huge, but nothing to scoff at. I’m not that big of a guy myself either. I stand just under 5’10 and fluctuate between 155-165lbs. But one thing that you can’t tell from looking at me is that I’m a war veteran and I’m trained in MMA. There was no doubt in my mind that I could drop this guy. But instead, I ignored him as I talked to the police and kept standing between him and the woman.

“I’ve trained for years–in the army and in gyms–for such a moment…”

He kept yelling, walking in circles around the two of us. I stayed on with the police and simultaneously tried to make small talk with the woman (once I actually got someone on the phone they got a trooper there within a few minutes). The police came, took over the situation, and then told me I could leave. So I did. I left.

But here’s the thing. I’m fairly certain that I did what was right. Once I was there, I knew that the guy no longer posed a threat to the woman, and I didn’t see him as a threat to me, so instead of fighting him I called the police. I talked to the woman and protected her. But still… when I think about the incident I regret not knocking the guy’s lights out. I mean, how often does a man get a chance to beat up a wife beater? I’d trained for years–in the army and in gyms–for such a moment, and I’d been in fights before, so I wasn’t scared. But I didn’t do it. I don’t know why. It may not be a popular sentiment, maybe I’m compensating for something, but I honestly regret not punching him.

Anyways… this video made me think about it. Check it out and let me know: What would you do?

Photo: Eddie~S/Flickr

 

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About The Author
Michael Anthony

Michael Anthony

Michael Anthony is a Massachusetts based writer and veteran of the U.S. Army. After his service in the Iraq War, he earned a BA in English Literature from Bridgewater State University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. He currently spends his free time with his wife and daughter, and volunteering for veteran charities.

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