TTAG reader Jim writes: “This is a really stupid prank to pull in America. It’s no wonder they filmed this in NYC. This kind of prank can get you killed by a regular citizen pretty much everywhere else in our country. In Europe, not so much, but if I were to encounter such a scene in my city, I can pretty much guarantee that my weapon would be drawn.  Please note that this is NOT a social experiment study, as some folks have suggested, but rather a viral video to promote the new movie Dead Man Down, in which I believe a similar type of murder takes place.”

81 Responses to Dead Man Down Viral Video: Where Else But New York?

    • One side kick to the head & the stranglers, walking(if not living ) days would probably be over, Randy

      • I’m really glad I never run into these hidden camera experiments/pranks. I wouldn’t want to be the guy that shoots a paid actor…

    • I used to work in Hollywood. Everything and I mean everything is run by the suits. There is now way industry lawyers would risk the liability of law suits or someone having a heart attack or this happening. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThI1_lriiIo . Which is also fake and with actors. More likely these are hired actors who are told that something weird or scary is about to happen in a controlled environment. Kudos though to the makers of this video for making this viral video. Probably because they have a low advertising budget.

  1. Even in NY they are lucky someone didn’t shoot or stab them. The guy w/fire extinguisher could have really put the hurt on the “Bad Guy”!!!

    • I agree, I know I wouldn’t just stand there, or run away. That’s a major problem with our country, people just don’t help people but the ones that do help people get sued by those they help…

    • Well, you walk in on them. You draw and shoot. After the investigation that you didn’t have time to do, it turns out that the one you thought to be the aggressor was actually the condo owner that was just abducted from his apartment and knew the only way out was to put down the abductor. It may be true that a jury may see it just how you saw it.

      How about this, for the unarmed, or old folks accused of cowardice: are you under a legal or moral duty to put your own life in danger? As you see the people in the elevator, knowing someone is going to die, are you going to add yourself to the list of victims that day? Justify that to your spouse, your children, those that depend on you; do it today, while you’re still alive, and see what their reactions may be.

      Don’t be so quick to judge, internet ninjas.

      • “Well, you walk in on them. You draw and shoot. After the investigation that you didn’t have time to do, it turns out that the one you thought to be the aggressor was actually the condo owner that was just abducted from his apartment and knew the only way out was to put down the abductor.”

        Bull sh!t. There is no plausible scenario of self defense that ends with holding somebody from the rear choking them out with a cord. Every mistaken situation case I’ve looked into, was either staged like this one, or involved an absolute idiot looking for an excuse. You might not know the back story. You may not know if the guy getting choked out raped the other guys daughter the night before. But if you can’t see who is the aggressor you need your head examined.

        “How about this, for the unarmed, or old folks accused of cowardice: are you under a legal or moral duty to put your own life in danger?”

        Legal no. Moral… well are you your brother’s keeper?

        ” As you see the people in the elevator, knowing someone is going to die, are you going to add yourself to the list of victims that day? Justify that to your spouse, your children, those that depend on you; do it today, while you’re still alive, and see what their reactions may be.”

        This nation was founded by people that wouldn’t stand by just because they weren’t the victim for that day. My wife married me knowing that I wouldn’t turn a blind eye to a person in need if I could help. If your spouse married you on the condition of you being spineless that is your problem. Don’t b!tch about “internet ninjas” just because others choose to own a spine.

  2. In today’s NYC verion of 1984, supressing the second ammendment BOLSTERS the first amendment. If these “artists” were afraid of getting shot (or even kicked in the face by G) how could they express themselves?

  3. We need to put flowers on the list in the previous thread about waiting for the police. Fire extinguisher, not so bad if you dont mind gettig sued by the victim. I would have hit the attacker with it if I didnt have my gun.

    So, I would assume the police were notified prior to filming? I would have loved to see a cop walk in and just beat the hell out of that guy.

    • This. So lucky they didn’t try this stunt near normal people.

      That extinguisher would have been used as a club. 15+ pounds of metal, tee’d up, then swung at velocity allowing attacker’s trapped grey matter to be freed from confinement.

      Woulda been a great story for the evening news though – “Tonight, Suicide by Performance Art? Watch and decide…”

      (But, as this is a movie promo piece, you know these folks are likely actors, or at least pre-screened.)

  4. I’ll bet most of them were waiting for Mayor Bloomberg to show up and tell them what to do. All hail the Great Nanny State!

  5. This reminds me of a famous case at a NY housing complex where, over a course of hours, a young woman was raped multiple times and ultimately murdered by her attacker in the bushes right outside. It is estimated that although over 100 people heard the attack, witnessed her screams and cries for help during the periods her attacker would leave, not one called the police. No one wanted to “get involved.”

    • The indifference of good men. A point made by the priest in the opening scenes of The Boondock Saints. It’s disgusting and intolerable.

    • That’s the hype, the reality is rather more mundane (though no less horrible for Kitty Genovese, the young woman who was raped and killed).

      She was attacked on the street and stabbed; but several people saw that first attack, shouted and threatened the attacker (who fled), at least one called the police (though at this point it seemed like just a street scuffle and the police gave it a low priority), and Genovese – shocked and stabbed in the torso, but not yet fatally wounded – staggered away towards the back door of her apartment building (and out of view of witnesses).

      Her attacker returned some ten or fifteen minutes later, searched the area, and eventually found Genovese who’d collapsed, in a hallway ending in a locked door into her building. Out of sight and earshot, he raped, robbed and killed her.

      The urban legend – that dozens, scores or hundreds of curtain-twitching New Yorkers watched in rapt attention as Genovese was violated and murdered – is just that, a legend. (The official count in the NYT article that first claimed mass inaction was thirty-eight witnesses, but it seems to steadily grow down the decades: give it another twenty years and the witnesses will have been coming out of their houses to take their turns raping the corpse…)

      • Thanks for the clarification, despite the nutty legislation going on around here lately don’t blame the victims and please keep the abuse to our politicos and other lower life forms. People around here aren’t really stupid, they just vote that way.
        The situation shown is somewhat confused and you may be kicking, smacking or shooting the wrong guy. Half the people shown do try to “break-it-up” and that’s probably the best thing to do in this case. There’s also the hassle of a possible lawsuit – a popular pass time around these parts.
        Actually the NY law on use of deadly force is not bad, they just don’t let you have the means to do it with. Me? I would have asked them politely to kill each other in the lobby and get out of the way so I could use the elevator. Thank you.

  6. I am not surprised at the people who simply walked away. This what we have become in this country. Self absorbed and afraid. For the libtards, its never their fault, and when there is a problem, it is someone else problem, not mine.

    Another reason to carry, because nobody is going to help you.

    • >> Another reason to carry, because nobody is going to help you.

      My thoughts exactly.

      I won’t pass judgement on the “artists” in this vid. I’ll only note that they’re quite lucky someone didn’t really hurt them.

    • To be fair (and I do really hate to say this) but…

      These reactions (even if fake) are products of a system. A system which teaches them not to get involved – either out of valid fear of retribution or the concern (real or hyped) about being sued.

      I don’t support it, it isn’t right, but without ‘Good Samaritan Laws’ firmly in place, I understand people wishing to avoid the potential legal entanglements that attempting in good faith to help you fellow man can lead to. Especially in NYC.

  7. That… is a very, very stupid prank, and the perpetrators are lucky no one got seriously injured. (Err… they didn’t, did they?)

      • “Call it what you will”, right? I was intentionally denigrating it by labeling it a prank. That’s how I’d view it if I walked into that situation and later learned that it was staged.

  8. Well now we know we don’t have to do anything. You know, might be a prank. Now even more absolved of any responsibility to our fellow human beings.

  9. This can only be pulled off in pro-victim zones. Anywhere else in the US there would have been a justifiable violent response.

  10. Assuming the “public” were not actors, this illustrates just how little courage there is in the populace. It also demonstrates how long it takes people to process something and decide to act.

    And yet here is the really hard part. My instincts in such a situation would be to assist the “victim”. But how could those concerned citizens have known who is the real victim and who is the real attacker? An attacker could have assaulted the victim only for the victim to gain the upper hand — and use that advantage to subdue the attacker. But for a concerned citizen who arrives late in the struggle, it would be easy to confuse them.

    It parallels the situation where an armed citizen stumbles upon a gun fight between another armed citizen and an armed criminal. Unless you (the armed citizen who showed up late to the game) saw everything, you should not shoot anyone because you really don’t know who is a criminal and who is a victim.

    This is a compelling case for concerned citizens to not intervene. And that is a compelling reason for citizens to be armed: so a confrontation ends as quickly as possible. I cannot think of a better tool than a firearm for ending a confrontation quickly. The sooner it ends, the better.

    • In CCW country, this is the perfect example of when drawing would be an appropriate use of a deadly weapon. If your scenario is true, then a “good” guy who just reversed the roles would likely stop strangling his attacker. Once shown the deadly weapon, if the person on top does not cease the choke the person on the bottom, it is appropriate to use the weapon to stop the assault.

  11. My first instinct might be to draw and shoot to stop the attack with a clear shot, but in Kentucky, it could be assault/manslaughter to do so.

    Kentucky law allows a “reasonable belief” of a threat to life or limb(*) when defending oneself, but requires absolute correctness when defending a third party. In this case, even if it looks like the guy is being choked, he really isn’t, and the law provides no defense.

    I don’t think an honorable person just walks away, and if you are facing a career criminal or professional, you’ve magically become the next target. IMHO, doing nothing is not a good option. I just can’t imagine I’m walking away from this one without trying to do something.

    I’d rather face a judge for assault in this case than face a family after not helping in a real murder case.

    (*) You can also prevent rape or sodomy. So, when your attacker threatens to shove something in parts of you where the sun doesn’t shine, and you believe him and are reasonable in doing so, the “lethal force” genie is out of the bottle.

      • (Remember, we’re talking about Kentucky here. A lot of states have different legal standards.)

        If you are defending yourself, it’s a reasonable belief standard. Someone walks up to me and wraps a cord around my neck, and yup, that’s self-defense. IMHO, some prosecutors are going a bit too far in not prosecuting (a VERY low number of) people who use reasonable belief to dodge cases that might qualify as manslaughter, but considering these same people are so anti-gun that they would prosecute for any act of self-defense before, the law was greatly needed.

        That’s not the standard for a third party. If you are attempting to defend a third party using lethal force, you have to be absolutely correct in your belief that the third party is at risk of losing their life. In this case, the third party is in on the joke, so shooting the “strangler” in this case would be assault or manslaughter, at least.

        • And I’d promptly sue the balls off of whoever was responsible for this “joke”. Probably from prison, but I’d still sue ’em.

  12. As soon as I would see what was going on, and I would perceive it to be a murder in progress I would go through these steps:

    1. Pull my gun.

    2. Yell at the top of my lungs, “STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING!!!”

    3. If I got compliance, call 911, hold them at gunpoint until police arrive. END. If I don’t get compliance, next step…

    4. A kick to the perpetrators head or other sensitive body part. Goto #3.

    5. One shot toward the back of the elevator over their head or beside them being sure shrapnel bounces in a safe direction. Goal is compliance, not injury or death. Goto #3. (5 is controversial and may or may not be attempted depending on the location and situatioin.)

    6. If you don’t get compliance, one shot into a body part of the perpetrator. Shoulder, leg, arm or head if there is nothing else exposed. Goto #3.

    7. Another body part. Goto #3.

    8. Another body part. Goto #3.

    9. Another body part. Goto #3.

    10. Another body part. Goto #3.

    11. Another body part. Goto #3.

    12. Another body part. Goto #3.

    13. If you carry a Ruger LC9 like I do and you skipped #5, another body part. Goto #3.

    14. Run. He’s not human or you should have practiced on the range as much as you bragged about on this forum.

    If, at any time the perp threatens me in word or action, I will empty the gun into center mass or whatever I can hit that is attached to his body, probably his head and chest.

    I carry 9mm frags, 8 of them. The first shot into any body part the size of an arm or larger should incapacitate him unless he’s high on something.

    Opinions? (…I’m sure there will be some!)

    NOTE: Don’t come to my state and try this. You might wake up dead.

    • Be advised that just “shooting the bastard” might be the worst thing because you don’t know for absolute certain who is the agressor and who is the victim. The goal is to stop the attack. It could be the guy being choked 2 seconds before was attempting to stab the choker. Compliance. …unless they threatened, then, put whichever one down with full lethal force.

      One could do this to draw a third in and then they would both jump on you! You can’t be too careful in these situations. Think before you act.

      • One thing to keep in mind if witnessing something like this taking place is you don’t know who is the “bad guy”. The guy being strangled could have been the badguy and the fight could have just turned around before you got there.

        I’d hold them both at gunpoint and call 911 and wait until the police arrived. If either of them threatened my life or the life of the other then it’s time to think about shooting.

      • Fixed it for you…

        1. Pull my gun.

        2. Yell at the top of my lungs, “STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING!!!”

        3. If I got compliance, call 911, hold them at gunpoint until police arrive. END. If I don’t get compliance, next step…

        4. Shoot until the threat is stopped at center mass or head. All other body parts are too small of a target.

      • “… you don’t know for absolute certain who is the agressor and who is the victim.”

        This x1000

        My carry instructor used an example where a woman was being stabbed in an alley by a man. The good samaritan intervined, shooting and killing the man. The samaritan and woman were both arrested as it was later proven she attacked the man and he was defending himself. I cant remember where this was but it is a true story.

        • In Memphis is correct. With that said the fire extinguisher was funny….

          Truth is most on this website are gun owners/carriers so the “typical” response is different here. Looks like the experiment wasn’t conducted where they though people would be carring guns, a yuppie appartment/business building. I applaud the individuals that did the best they could. I do not fault those in the video who stared unbelieving for a bit. That is a true reaction of any human who hasn’t witnessed a violent act against another human being. I doubt that anyone even on this website, those who have not personnally witnessed a violent act, would be able to react instantly. Most would hesitate until they could process what they were seeing. Then they would act.

    • One minor opinion here:

      Draw your gun OR move to physically engage, but do NOT do both.

      Legally, if you don’t need to shoot, then you are the aggressor drawing the gun, and the attacker can gain legal immunity for attacking you. Physically, once the gun is out of the holster, you can accidentally shoot someone or lose control of the firearm much more easily if you are physically attacked by one of the parties involved (unless you’re Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, your leg range is about equal to his arm or knife range).

      Guns give the advantage of “reach out and touch someone”. You should reserve and protect that advantage, not negate it by moving in to attack.

  13. They wouldnt DARE try that shit in my home state, ARIZONA!(Ok, maybe at one of the college campuses)

    Pranksters would be looking at the business end of a gun real QUICK.

  14. Note that I did say that I would draw my CCW weapon if I encountered such a scenario. It’s pretty clear cut that there is a very real and imminent threat of grave bodily harm to the person on the bottom, regardless of who they are and what transpired between these two individuals.

  15. Many comments above talk about how we “Americans” react so poorly. Newsflash!!!! This is humanity in general, Not just us.

  16. NYC is a bunch of pansies. Gun or not, that guy would be somewhere between the ER and the morgue if that was done in any number of less sissified areas.

    I really don’t think a lot of the commenters realize what they would be getting into if somebody is being choked by a garret cord. You can pretty much guarantee that they have a collapsed wind pipe, and will be dead in short order without aid even if the assailant stops. That means if you have any intention of playing good Samaritan, you have a very short window of opportunity to completely remove the assailant from the equation. As in, the life of the victim would depend on the assailant being physically incapable of being a threat irregardless of any appearance of compliance so unless you have a buddy to drag the SOB away and hold them there the assailant needs to be practically if not actually dead. Like stomp the guys head in with your full force and weight till the guy is out and gone or head shots type physically incapable of being a threat.

  17. Leave it to a freakin’ hipster wearing jeans 5x too small for his doughy frame to wip out his iPhone to snap a few pics for his instatwit page rather than getting his hands dirty and stopping a potential murder in progress. Talk about the neutering of America. God bless New York.

    A prime example of why we NEED constitutional carry. In some parts of this country ain’t nobody gonna come to your aid when you’re in trouble.

  18. In Georgia this will get you dead real fast. I see the point of who is the victim and who is the bad guy. In this point you are walking into a crime scene and you do not have all the puzzle pieces to know what is truly going on. But law here is that you can use deadly force if someone is harming another.

  19. I don’t see how they could clear this with the police and the ensuing 911 calls, especially to the same location multiple times…
    Most people are cowards though, I was the only person in a subway car who stood up to prevent a man from stealing another’s wallet when he was passed out on the floor. All I did was stand and speak up, “I can’t allow you to do that,” and he stopped, and handed me the stolen wallet with everything inside it. I guess he was a coward, too.

  20. The not – so – skinny guy in skinny jeans snapping a cell phone pic…i can’t even look at him again without getting furious. I know the type. i had a verbal exchange with a sissy that looked just like him. This prissy f**k didn’t like it that i told him how rude he was being to the female cocktail waitress, so he flew off the handle into a tirade with “oh no you didn’t just say that!” But, i stopped him there. I did not allow him to speak any more. He ultimately called the police on me for telling him- “Shut your fu**ing mouth when you’re talking to me, you unmanly motherfu**er.” Luckily i didn’t get arrested.

  21. I noticed that out of all of them, two women attacked him with flowers(?), one man used a fire extinguisher, and one possible male service member (looks like he was wearing ACU pants and fleece top, I could be wrong) was the only one that actually tackled the “attacker”. Everyone else either freaked out, talked to them or ran away.

  22. The crazy thing is that you could never get permission to do this kind of thing as a legitimate social science experiment, and if a scientist tried to do it anyway, he would be looking at jail time. But a bunch of idiots can get away with it without penalty.

  23. Although I cannot specifically say what I would have done, the “Attacker” would have been injured. Most likely, my weapon would have been drawn

    • They would have gotten away with it with a permission slip from the ATF saying this was a sting to see if anyone was carrying “illegal” guns. And a presidential pardon.

      /sarcasm

  24. Boy oh boy am I glad they didn’t put me in that position. The guy with the garrote would get one warning…

  25. Why would they even want to do this as a prank. I don’t even find it coming close to being comical.

  26. Social experiment notwithstanding, the jerk who stood there recording on his phone needs a good slap. Or two.

  27. It seems to me that New York is a liberal paradise. Full of politically correct progressives surrounded by greed, violence and apathy. What a disgusting cesspool of human depravity! And the very people who deprive the populous of the guns needed to protect themselves, have their own armed security. Everyone else has the “security” of knowing they are protected by some of the toughest gun laws in the country.

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