A St. Louis man with balls of steel stood up to a group of men he had video recorded beating up on a woman inside a car who stormed up to him and began threatening, shoving, pushing and punching him, ordering him to turn off the camera, forcing him down the block until the man’s girlfriend pepper sprayed one of the attackers in an intense video that is going viral.
Andrew Doty, a 27-year-old freelance editor, placed the camera inside his pocket in order to defend himself where it goes dark for a portion of the video, but the audio remains clear.
You can hear when his girlfriend pepper sprays one of the men, causing him to scream out in pain, and you can hear Doty saying, “thanks, hon.”
The video goes back on as the men retreat. Doty called the cops but they didn’t appear too interested in pursuing the matter.
According to the St. Louis Post-Disptach:
Doty aimed his smartphone at the SUV while his girlfriend called 911, he says. The video (watch here, but warning, contains profanity throughout) shows men noticing him recording, confronting him and demanding several times that he “put the camera up.”
But Doty kept rolling. He said he assumed they didn’t have a weapon because they didn’t appear to be using one in the attack. Doty also said he “made a leap” in standing up to the men with his camera because he was more concerned about what might happen if he stopped recording.
“I knew that as long as I kept asserting myself and letting them know that I wasn’t scared of them, that I was in control of my own body,” Doty said. “I just kept filming because I felt that was the important thing to do in the moment.”
As the men approached him, Doty said he put his smartphone in his pocket to defend himself. He said one of them hit him, scraping his neck. His girflriend was not hurt.
During the scuffle, Doty’s girlfriend, also 27, sprayed one of the men with pepper spary. The men retreated, got back into the SUV and fled into Tower Grove Park with the woman in the back seat, the video shows. Doty said a patrol car showed up after several minutes, and an officer watched his video and took a report. Police say a car was dispatched at 7:18 p.m. and arrived seven minutes later.
Doty said he was surprised the police did not pursue the SUV into the park. Doty said he and his girlfriend posted the video of the encounter to YouTube to help solve a crime that Doty wonders if police are taking seriously. Police say they are investigating the attack and looking for the vehicle in the video.
“I was furious and very alarmed,” he said. “Because with a victim of assault trapped in the back of the car and driven off, it had all the trappings of a kidnapping.”
Doty provided the license plate number to the officers. Police on Friday said they did not yet know the identities of the three men or the woman inside the SUV.
What would you have done in that situation?