On the Radar

Fil-Am martial artist hailed a 'hero' after stopping attacker in New York

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Fil-Am martial artist hailed a 'hero' after stopping attacker in New York
Fil-Am mixed martial artist Ro Malabanan
Ro Malabanan via Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-American mixed martial artist Ro Malabanan was deemed a "Good Samaritan" after he recently intervened and subdued an attacker that assaulted several individuals in Manhattan, New York.

Malabanan recounted the experience to NBC's New York outlet. The encounter took place last week when he was on the way to work, then he saw the suspect suckerpunch a construction worker in Manhattan's SoHo area.

The Philippines-born Malabanan went up to check on the man, who was in great pain, and his martial arts instinct kicked in.

"In my mind, I was afraid he was going to hurt another person," Malabanan told NBC.

With a black belt in Jiu-jitsu and experience in boxing, Malabanan was able to quickly subdue the attacker using what he called a seatbelt position, and kept him on the ground until authorities arrived to take the man away.


A post shared by RO (@rotheshow)

An individual was able to capture Malabanan, but Malabanan overpowered the individual and according to witnesses, the individual attacked several others, as seen on a video, which the martial artist reposted on his Instagram account.

Malabanan considers himself a part of the New York community and that part of being a New Yorker was to be willing to step in to help strangers.

"I don't think I'm a hero... I'm just really grateful I was able to stop someone, use my martial arts skills... in a real-world situation is incredible," Malabanan also said, adding that he didn't stick around after the arrest because he was going to be late for work.

In a separate post, he said it was his responsibility as a martial artist to stand up for those who cannot and that he believes "we have to show empathy and compassion to others because we are all going through things."

Malabanan called on fellow martial artists to be vigilant and do their part in helping others while not harming any attacker, also cautioning that the New York heat might be leading to people putting out their frustrations physically.

RELATED: Fil-Am rapper Saweetie honors Filipinos with first pitch at Dodgers game



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