Man called a hero after subduing combative Metro passenger with chokehold
A Metro train passenger who used a chokehold to subdue a combative shirtless man aboard an Expo line car is being lauded as a hero for his swift actions.
Adrian Kaczmarek was recorded in a cellphone video stopping the unruly and apparently impaired man, who confronted a bicyclist on the train about 9 p.m. Saturday night and then became aggressive with another passenger who called him a “weirdo.”
As the man cursed at the other passenger and moved erratically toward him, Kaczmarek came up from behind him and placed him in a chokehold. The video shows the man gradually losing consciousness and then falling to the floor of the car.
The man lay motionless for few seconds before he regained his senses. Kaczmarek then placed his foot on the man’s chest and pinned him down until sheriff’s deputies arrived.
Kaczmarek’s actions have been seen more than 1.3 million times on YouTube and have earned him the nicknames “Viking Guy” and “Subway Hero.”
“I didn’t want to seriously hurt the guy,” Kaczmarek wrote on Facebook. “He was in another world messed up on drugs and I just wanted to stop him from hurting anyone. Had him pinned down until the cops came a stop later and arrested him. Just trying to do the right thing.”
Kaczmarek told KNBC-TV that he was concerned about the safety of passengers on the train, which was headed from Los Angeles to Culver City.
When the train stopped at the Culver City station, deputies arrested the 25-year-old passenger on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs and alcohol, said Ramon Montenegro, spokesman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Transit Policing Division.
Montenegro advised passengers against taking the “law into your own hands, because what if that guy had a weapon.” Passengers should instead call the proper authorities and act as good witnesses, he said.
“But obviously, we don’t want people to leave themselves vulnerable if they are attacked and need to defend themselves,” Montenegro said.
The case is being investigated and detectives are interviewing witnesses.
Kaczmarek hasn’t shied away from poking a little fun at his new hero status.
“Off to save more lives,” he wrote on Instagram, along with a photograph of himself holding up a fist and posing in a red motorcycle helmet and jacket.
When he is not fighting crime at night, Kaczmarek is a manager at a fitness club.
According to the company’s website, Kaczmarek is a native of Poland who moved to the U.S. in 1994.
For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA
Start your day right
Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.