Feb 252009

Not a BJJ post, but kind of a self defense related post. I read a lot of blogs. One that I enjoy is Black Belt Mama. She is neither a black belt, nor a mama… wait. Scratch that. She’s a great mama, and is working toward her black belt. I like her and her blog very much, even though we agree on little and both tend to be opinionated.

Recently, she posted an article on the case mentioned in the title: Yet Another Reason to Boycott McDonalds. The blog refers to a situation that happened last August. Here’s an article on the subject and you can check out the video here if you can’t see it below:

Okay. So, here’s the thing. BBM believes this man to be a hero. I encourage you to go read her post for what I think might be the more popular opinion. Personally, I think the guy’s an idiot and culpable for his own injuries. I think he’s very, very lucky to be alive and that the person with the gun didn’t bring that weapon into the store.

  • First of all, the guy didn’t call the police and nowhere does it mention ANYONE doing this before or during the confrontation.
  • Second, he escalated the situation all the way, right away. No attempt to de-escalate. No attempt to defuse. He charged out and tackled the guy.
  • Third, he drug the guy out of the restaurant and followed him out. The guy might have had friends in the parking lot in addition to a gun. Or friends with guns. Or who the hell knows?
  • Fourth, he clearly had no sense of situational awareness. It obviously didn’t occur to him that the guy might just have a gun, nor did it occur to him that the guy might be psychotic enough to not stop with him.
  • Finally, it’s the company policy of every place I’ve ever worked in public service to avoid confrontation and call the police. You don’t make a show of writing down license numbers or confronting the individual (or tackling them and dragging them outside). This was true even when I worked for McDonald’s a few decades ago. Believe it or not, it’s for everyone’s safety, not just yours.

I said on BBM that, if things go completely nuts, if someone’s life is in danger, if the guy HAS a gun, by all means do what you have to do. But by his actions, he obviously put his own life in danger and certainly put every other person in that restuarant’s life in danger as well. Through his actions he escalated the situation and I think they are all lucky that more people weren’t shot.

Grabbing a person who is known to be violent, tackling him, dragging him bodily from the store and standing in the doorway like Rambo is ridiculously stupid. While I can empathize with him and his family, he’s not a victim in this, nor is he a hero. He’s just very, very lucky to be alive.

I do think it would be a nice gesture for McD’s to pay for at least a portion of the guy’s medical expenses. I just don’t personally believe that they should be legally obligated to do that. The company has a policy for the employees’ safety and for the safety of the customers. His actions, which are in violation of the McD’s policy are his own, and if anything, he should be reprimanded if not fired.

The only real question is whether or not this policy is well defined and whether the McD’s documented the training on the subject. This guy’s only real defense is that he was ignorant of the policy and completely devoid of common sense.

What do you think? Am I completely out in left field on this?

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for BJJ gear, check out Razorback Jiu Jitsu. Douglas sells the full range of Atama gear, including the Mundial #7, and if you use the coupon code “STEVE” you’ll save 15% off of your offer.
 Posted by at 6:49 pm

  14 Responses to “non-BJJ: McDonald’s vs Nigel Haskett”

Comments (14)

    Well you know what I’m going to say. I’m not saying this was an ideal situation, but given the situation, the guy did what he felt was necessary to prevent the guy from further inflicting more damage to the woman who was being beaten. I read a lot of stuff in your post and in your comments on my site, but what I didn’t read is what you think the guy SHOULD have done.

    If he hadn’t removed the guy from the restaurant and away from the woman, do you really think the guy would have stopped beating her up? What then? Stand there and watch as the man pummels the woman because your employer policy is to “not be a hero”? Everyone keeps saying what was wrong with what he did, but what about if he hadn’t stepped in? What would have happened then? If anything like that ever happens to me, I hope there’s someone like Nigel around.

    The thing is, when things happen like this, people react many times without thinking. Adrenalin takes over and what comes out of us, isn’t always a rational and controlled thing. Was it an ideal reaction? No. Did he prevent the woman from being beaten up any further? Yes. Is he a hero because of that? Absolutely.


    Fair enough. First, I’ll tell you that the entire scenario is a what if. I can tell you for certain that I would specifically try to not escalate the situation. I would do what I could to defuse it. If the situation escalates, it would be him that does it, not me.

    What I would do is, first, call the cops or make sure someone else did so and get an ETA on their arrival. Second, honestly, if they’re just beating up on each other, I’d let them duke it out until the cops show up. If it looked like he was really hurting her, I would definitely get involved. I wouldn’t tackle the guy, though, push him outside and practically invite him to shoot me and the rest of the people in the restaurant. I’d try to restrain the guy, get between him and the girl and get him to talk to me (whether yelling, arguing or whatever). Honestly, this is a last resort and I’d be damned sure to watch out for a weapon and friends. If he’s talking to me, he isn’t beating up on her. I’d try to be calm. I’d ask him to leave. If he does all of those things, great. If he escalates the situation, I’d have to deal with that. Ideally, I’d have the guy passively engaged long enough for the cops to get there and handle it themselves.

    Ultimately, all of this aside, the other issue at hand is whether McDonald’s is liable for his large medical bills. I can’t even fathom that they would be. Should they do the right thing and help their employee out? I think so. Should they be MADE to? I don’t know about that. And I think that, while he may have had the best of intentions, he jumped into a situation that he was uniquely unqualified to handle.


    You know Steve, we agree on a lot more than I thought we did. We’re not so different. You need to go read my latest post and then you’ll see why I’m so worked up about this.


    I think that your reaction was much different from Nigel’s.


    Check out this video and then decide what is more shocking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFFXRfAdSPg

    Personally, I find peoples lack of action much more disturbing than a man stepping up and going doing what he thought was right. Also, it’s obvious that he is reacting on instinct. He is there pushing that guy almost immediately. I think someone who instinctively comes to someones aid, without thinking of the possible danger to themselves is heroic, if not necessarily intelligent. I can’t promise I wouldn’t have reacted the same way.


    kylecooper: Fair enough. For the record, I think the guy was brave and heroic, too. I guess I haven’t done a good job of saying that. I’d like to think that I would take action if necessary, but I would hope it would be action that makes the situation better, not worse. The thing is, this is a classic example of why businesses and corporations tell their employees to call the police and let them handle it.

    In this case, the woman’s life didn’t seem to be in danger. Sure, she got hit and that sucks, but there was no gun, no knife and no real physical damage. In violation of company policy and common sense, he reacted violently and ended up getting shot.

    Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your position.


    kyle, I watched that video and I agree. It’s much more disturbing to watch a group of people not do a damn thing. What’s even more disturbing than that video? The comments below. What is this world coming to when there are people who think like that? No one deserves to get pummeled in the face.


    Im not even going to read all the bullet points on this one. Here's the f'in deal. Your standing there and guy strikes a women in the face. Do you stop and think oh, if I do this then this will happen if do that then… No! You react! My blood is boiling with just the thought of that coward hitting a girl that is half his size. McDonalds? Whatever he shouldn't be suing McD's for the bills but good on him for standing up to that @#$%&!


    Can’t watch the video from work, but I’ll look when I can.

    @Sean: I respect your opinion and, as I said, you’re definitely not alone. I think, in a crisis, you absolutely have to stop and think and keep your wits about you. Of course you do something, but if you aren’t smart about it, you will probably make things worse for everyone.

    To draw a contrast, you have on one extreme this guy. Untrained, but well meaning and completely reacting on impulse. On the other, Captain Sullenburger, the guy who landed the plane in the Hudson. Well trained, calm and completely in control. THAT’S the guy I want on my team when the shit hits the fan.

    One way or another, though, I think everyone can agree that this guy tried to do the right thing and should get help with his bills. Just a matter of whether it should be mandated by the government that his employer do it or not.


    I thought about this again after I wrote the previous post, and when I think about it I get really angry. But honestly I think I would have rapidly approached the guy with both hands up giving the signal, not necessarily going to attack but I’m intervening. However, still, there is not much to stop and think, it is act at 1/10,000 of a second. Whether it makes things worse well, that’s life, that is karma and that is an opportunity to learn.
    As far as the well trained guy, well I guess that’s why I do Jiu Jitsu. As a matter of fact, it is the reason I do Jiu Jitsu.
    As a car almost hit me in 1995 as I crossed the street, I protested. The car stopped and several men piled out of the car to surround me. No words were spoken just me looking at the 5 or 6 guys around me and them looking at me, and I’m trying to decide, who am I going to hit first. I don’t know why, but they fell back, and got in the car and left. My heart was beating out of my chest. At that moment I decided to learn how to defend myself and found a guy who would travel once a month to CA to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from this family called Gracie. Since then I’ve been around several street fights and have been able to get some sort of vision as to what is around me and what might ensue and what posture to keep and survive. At least that is what I feel as opposed to what I felt before I had any real knowledge of actual technique in fighting and I was very scared.
    So, it helps to be trained, to know what you can do. Maybe just that energy used the right way can stop a potential situation.
    Just the opposite happened the other night as I walked the dog at about 9:30 p.m. I see this guy about a block away walking rapidly my way. The dog is off the leash doing his thing, but I’m just standing, hood over my head, 6’4″ watching this guy come in. I stand still watching, he finally gets to me. Just as he is about to pass, shoulder to shoulder, he says, “are you staring at me?” I turn slightly and pull back my hood, “what’s that?” in the same exact tone, slowing, and squaring, “are you staring at me?” and just as he says it, my little black dog comes out from the bushes in an obvious sign of, no I’m not some freak in downtown Tacoma staring at people I’m walking my damn dog. He immediately lets down “oh man you never know around here” and he turns and walks off.
    It was my fault. I should have given a different posture as he approached. But that is how quickly things happen. We were both circling and ready to go.
    I don’t know, I guess my point is, things happen quickly. I don’t expect someone to be a coward but maybe that is their natural reaction as fear grips them.
    Every hair on our head is counted. Live and do what is right.
    That also means don’t expect someone to pay your bills just because you made a decision and they have deep pockets.


    any dude who smacks a woman like that (especially that assclown who punched the 16 yr old at McDonald’s) deserve a serious ass kicking.

    fucking pussies.


    Steve, Persoanly I do think you are right. He could have handled the situation better instead of just going for the guy, and was not the best move to carry on the situation outside. However, seeing woman get hit can sometimes drive a certain adreneline where instinct does just take over.

    I can actually see why Mcdonalds dont want to pay anything. Im sure in Hecketts contract it does not say that he must attack someone for any reason. If it was a matter of life and death then fair enough but it was not. I think it would have looked good for Mcdonalds if there did offer something to Hecket as a token of good will, but they did not take the opportunity.


    Sorry, the guys name is Hasket. Duh!


    I don’t believe it. We can intervene in other countries, but we can’t intervene in violent situations at home. amazing.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.