The elevator murder experiment: what would you do?

I’d whip it out and start masturbating the attacker like a motherfuck. He’d quickly forget he was mad at the guy he was choking and stop.

The guy on top is vulnerable. Both his hands are occupied doing the choke. I would have time to get in and deliver one or more strikes to the brachial plexus origin, which would stun him for 5-10 seconds, if not knock him out completely.

Imagine, TriPolar, you just got jumped on the elevator, somehow you manage to overpower the guy, you get an arm around his throat so you can regain your composure and think about your next move, when the doors spring open, and some douchbag kicks you in the head. Now you may or may not have brain damage. Now the kicker, oblivious to the situation, might be the new target of this murderer.

I mean…honestly…is that how you feel? If I were in that situation of being attacked and you kicked ME in the head I would snap that guy’s neck. I would assume you were in cahoots with the guy. And since you now have kicked my head you are certainly using lethal force, and I can build an adequate defense, I’m coming after you next. As far as I know this was the plan for you two all along.

In RL you probably won’t stop and process the situation in detail. It will largely come down to two fairly low-level feelings: 1. the unpleasantness of watching someone suffering and/or dying 2. the fear of getting hurt.

Now, for many people, 1 will trump 2 especially as the victim gets visibly closer to death. Reason being, it is critical to the ego of most of us to believe the statement “I am basically a good person. I may make some minor mistakes, or sometimes have to break the rules, but in the end (or in anything important), I do the right thing”. And by “ego” I don’t mean to make it sound selfish; it’s just part of our identity.

If you’re a strong man it would be extremely damaging to this self-identity to watch a person slowly be killed, even if you called the cops. If you are an elderly woman OTOH, you may genuinely feel that all you could have done is call for help, but even then I suspect many such people would have trouble sleeping for a long time to come.

I’m going to try and stop someone from getting seriously injured or killed, and do it in a way that minimizes the chance of the same happening to me. That’s the breaks. I would expect anyone else to do the same, if they do anything at all, which they probably won’t. What do you expect me to do? Try to interview the combatants to see which one started it?

Missed the edit window:

ETA: Just double checked the video, indeed, the guy on top has an electrical cord wrapped around the other guys neck. It’s a situation that requires action, no time to conduct an investigation. I’d use the minimum force necessary to stop the fight and protect myself, but I won’t care who’s at fault or who started it.

Excellent points. To mitigate this risk, it might be wise to first yell “STOP!”, and follow that up 2-3 seconds later with “STOP OR I WILL STOP YOU!”, and then 2-3 seconds later with a full-power soccer kick to the face. This would offer a full 4-6 seconds for the choker to let up, begin an explanation, or request help restraining the chokee. The kicker would have plenty of time to backpedal and try to explain himself before the recently kicked choker would be on his feet, ready to engage a new oponent if this were truly a misunderstanding.

Kick to the head or finger to the eye usually breaks everything up. Real life one week ago, guy getting punched repeatedly on the floor of a club. An 8 second choke hold later and I hand the assailant off to the bouncer and just go back to my table. Punchee thanks me three days later when someone points me out to him.

Exactly. Without knowing the specifics of the situation, I’m not about to jump in the middle of it. I’ll go call the police.

I’m not sure if I would run screaming like a little girl, or lose it & fight like I wish I’d been able to as a little girl. Maybe I’d have the wherewithal to press the elevator alarm button before doing either.

Afterwards I’d want to sue them for trauma…freaking idiots.

I was sort of similarly pranked like this by a few total strangers in college. I was chilling in my dorm room with my girlfriend and roommate when we were both startled by loud kicks on the door. I opened the door to find a college-aged women bound very tightly at the wrists and ankles with duct tape. She was gagged as well. I think I said, “Jesus Christ!” took the gag off, and asked he something like, “Are you alright / what the hell happened to you / are you OK?”

She only answered in strange nonsensical mumbles and sobs. I told her I was going to try to take the duct tape off. All of this had happened in maybe 10 seconds. The tape was really on there and all scrunched up, so I hollered for my girlfriend to hand me my pocket knife, and assured the girl that she was going to see a knife, but that I wasn’t going to hurt her, just carefully cut the tape. All-the-while my roommate and my girlfriend were frozen, and I’m repeating “Will you just hand me my knife? It’s in the desk drawer! For god’s sake just hand me my fucking knife!” It was infuriating.

Then, I heard some dickish laughing, and looked down the hall to see a couple of guys with a video camera behind the glass in the study nook at the end of every hall, and the girl’s expression changed. I said something awkward like, “Oh, I thought you were really in trouble or something.” And I shut my door. And no, the girlfriend and roommate were not in on it, and it still pisses me off when I think about how they refused to react. i have nightmares quite often (not stemming from this incident) that are exactly like that – people refuse to respond, communicate, or acknowledge me or whatever I’m saying.

Ah, TriPolar, an extension cord would change everything; it implies pre-meditated assaul, and its very unlikely the person that started with the cord wasn’t the one who finished with it. I still wouldn’t kick in that circumstance, but I understand and see it as acceptable that someone would.

A really primal scream could probably shake things up a bit too, I imagine. Also, misdirection; screaming Fire! Might confuse them enough to diffuse the situation.

drastic queen, I admire your reaction in that situation. Try to think of their response not as a refusal to act, but their failure to understand the potential gravity of the situation.

What are gun laws in NYC like again? These guys weren’t risking getting a gun drawn on them, were they?

To me, the location matters a lot. Is it an upper-class building? A sketchy one? An office? What neighborhood? What time of day?

When I lived in NYC, I was on such high “danger alert” that I’d probably just run away.

Now that I live in Seattle, I’d probably be more likely to intervene.

I’d also be more likely to intervene in the daytime, in an area where other people were at least walking around on the street outside. In the dead of night or in a quiet, industrial area? No effing way.

Also, interesting that it was two white guys. I wonder how the reactions would change if it was two black guys, or one white and one black.

The guy who is currently winning might be the initial victim who has turned the tables on his attacker. Or he might be the aggressor, you just don’t know.

Or this might just be the way urbanites play, I don’t know, I’m from out of town. From the looks of these guys it might be a bondage/mating ritual that I am unfamiliar with. I would hate to look like a rube and make a social faux pas.

But what if this was happening on an escalator instead of an elevator, and these two refused to move to the right so I could walk up the moving stairs?

I’m pretty sure it’s OK to shoot them then.

“I been to a town once.” Jeremiah Johnson

Midday news is reporting this video was a viral video promotion for some new movie, not a legitimate “experiment”.

CO2 extinguishers live almost exclusively in Hollywood movies and behind David Letterman’s desk. They’re a specialty tool found mainly in electrical environments, not your average office or mall.

That said, I would suspect a face and mouthful of any chemical extinguisher you’d find in an office building would take the fight out of most folks. And you can always smack the choker in the head for added attention-getting.

I generally carry some 10% pepper spray, and it has the same effect. A choke hold on the top guy should bring things to a stop, but it’s clearly not the answer for everyone.

Me, I’d wade in, but for most folks I would accept backing up and calling the cops as an option.

I’m a coward, but also bigger than average. I try to avoid conflicts unless I have an obvious and unfair advantage. I feel safe in assuming that, since the aggressor is using an inefficient method of murdering the victim, he’s unarmed, so if the guy is also smaller than me I’m going to attack him.

From behind, of course, and without warning.

The video itself says as much, as it contains a link to the movie’s website at the end. I guess most people missed that.

The sad truth is that I’d stand there, gaping, unable to comprehend, for a terribly long period of total inanition.

What I think I might nerve myself to do is to jam a hand in the elevator doors, to prevent them from closing, and then shout like all hell.

(I did once call the police to investigate a “kidnapping” that was actually part of some kids doing a live action role-playing-game. It looked real!)