New York mayoral candidate Andrew Yang is being hailed as a hero after going out of his way to protect a news photographer from a man wielding a metal pole while aboard the Staten Island Ferry on Friday.
The incident happened during Yang’s tour of Staten Island, with a small media entourage following him, reports the NY Post.
Getty photojournalist Spencer Platt, who was part of the media group, was reportedly talking on the phone at the top outdoor deck around 11:15 a.m. when he was approached by another passenger.
According to Platt, the boat had just passed the Statue of Liberty when a man wearing a black cowboy hat and jeans suddenly came standing too close to his face.
Platt narrated the incident: “I just said, ‘What’s up?’ He Immediately shoves me, I kind of tumble down. I get back up, and he raises a steel bar — a broomstick handle — over his head. … He looks like he’s ready to strike me.”
Noticing the altercation from inside the ferry, Yang rushed to the scene and intervened by talking to the attacker.
“I didn’t have much time to think. I saw the photographer get shoved and it seemed like it might get worse. So I did what I think a lot of people would do, which is like: ‘I have to prevent this person from getting hurt,’”
Yang told The City
. “So I got up as quickly as I could and tried to intervene before the man could swing.”
Platt took the opportunity to escape to safety and notified the authorities who later took over the situation. No charges were filed against the man.
Yang shared with the Hill that he was able to calm the assailant who recognized him. He also called for more mental health resources in the city, which he would give more funding to if he was to become mayor, he said.
“I’m glad that when he turned he saw me and recognized me, and the situation deescalated quickly,” Yang said.
On social media, followers of the former presidential candidate praised him for taking action.
“I definitely appreciate his services and being there,” said the grateful photographer.
The authorities shared that no one was assaulted or injured from the altercation.
Feature Image via Getty