Allen Haywood was a man minding his own business when he was assaulted by thugs. He was a victim, but it didn’t have to end with him battered, bloody, and shaken.

Years ago I was in a mechanized infantry unit.  We were trained that when ambushed, a counter-ambush involves getting out of the kill zone quickly, charging full steam ahead, and laying down lead, which is a lot better than sitting around with your thumb up your ass and dying.  Allen Haywood, on some level, learned this lesson in the DC metro area the other night:

On Sunday night, Allen Haywood was randomly and viciously attacked by two kids on the platform of the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station. Dozens of people witnessed it. Several people filmed it. Nobody helped.

Haywood was trying to transfer to the Yellow Line around 7:15 p.m. when the assault happened.

Allen Haywood is a florist who was minding his own business when a group of thugs attacked him (the article mentions “two” kids, which is misleading, as it’s obvious he was in the mist of their friends as well).  He was reading a book when a pack of kids decided it would be fun to beat a man and video tape it…just for the hell of it. I would call them animals, but animals act on instinct—lions hunt because they’re lions, and tigers kill because they’re tigers. These individuals are worse than animals because they have free will; they mulled over the idea in their mind, knew it was evil, and carried through with their plan anyway.

Sadly, Allan seems to be the type of man who doesn’t want to believe that sometimes the dregs of society exist in cesspools because that is where evil likes to reside. And evil can not be reasoned with, as the video shows him attempting to do…to no avail.

One of my squad leaders used to say that the enemy needed to be confronted with SPEED, SHOCK, POWER, AND VIOLENCE.  Not to be neglected is the Army’s saying, “Stay Alert, Stay Alive!”

Because I wanted to exit the military with all of my organs and bones in tact and where I found them on the day I enlisted, I took this advice seriously. Little did I know that it would serve me well upon reentry into civilian life.

Allen Haywood should have responded to these thugs with Speed, Shock, Power, and Violence. The aggressor always sets the rules of engagement. In this instance a bunch of oxygen thieves wanted to rough up a poor man minding his own business. If he was alert (instead of reading his book) he would have headed off his attackers, or at least avoided that first blow. As the altercation commenced, he should have applied:

  • Speed: Find the emergency buttons located throughout the DC Metro and pushed the button.
  • Shock:  If his attackers were not deterred, he should have moved on them with a level of force they would have never foreseen coming from their victim (sticking his thumbs in their eyes and swiping hard would have worked nicely).
  • Power:  Animals prey on the weak. Exuding strength, by subduing or pummeling his assailants, was called for.
  • Violence:  Being civilized does not mean renouncing violence as an acceptable means to sometimes end confrontation. “Peace at any cost” is not peace.  Surrounded, outnumbered, and without a Good Samaritan by his side, Allen Haywood should have gone third-rail ferrel.

Note:  Law-abiding citizens can put an end to such unwanted scenarios by carrying concealed weapons.  Metro-thugs would be less hesitant to attack in the future if they were never sure who might respond to threats to our God-given right to LIFE with a hail of bullets.

It is often said that we’re always one generation away from civilization’s end.  If one generation fails to teach the next right from wrong — or about honor, integrity, and selfless service…good citizens suffer the consequences.

I hope Allen Haywood recovers, physically and psychologically, from his ordeal. However, part of that recovery hinges on his ability to understand that some people out there are just plain evil.  Period.  And evil must be dealt with by delivering swift, sure, and unrelenting force to protect productive, rational, and upstanding men.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

10 comments

  1. I would add that a part of the response must be the commitment to it before it ever happens. Apparently it is not uncommon for a black-belt martial artist to freeze up in a real situation because the shock of what is happening (“This is REAL!”) causes paralysis.

    I have not been in such a situation, but I imagine it hinges on the essence of what you are talking about regarding the cognitive dissonance that comes from the reality that some people actually want to hurt people. This “disbelief” becomes the dominant response, as opposed to your awesome menu of actions.

    If this is true, then I believe one must make the decision now, before any attack ever happens, that if it happens he will take the ruthless path without hesitation.

    I would add that I don’t put this kind of hesitation/paralysis into the Liberal / Conservative field of discussion. You may disagree, but I think it can happen in equal measure to people of all political stripes.

    1. I agree with you, definitely. I think too many people walk around not believing this sort of thing can happen. I’ve lived in DC. I work here and regularly take the Metro. I’ve seen these kinds of thugs quite often. They’re loud, obnoxious, and always looking for an excuse to show the world just how animalistic they can be. Situational awareness, and the firm commitment to defend yourself, is key. However, these punks usually can tell who they shouldn’t mess with.

      Like the scum they are, they look for someone who gives off the “florist” vibe, or the woman on her BlackBerry not paying attention to her surroundings.

    2. First, as Allen’s sister, let me thank you for helping get the story out.

      I can also tell you that we were raised to be polite, and part of that is that you don’t hit girls.

      He’s lived most of his adult life in DC, he loves the area, and rides the Metro a lot. He’s probably not going to stop riding the Metro, but I’m pretty sure that your last point is one that he, and a lot of us, are taking to heart.

  2. Laura,

    Thanks for the comment. I was extremely angry upon hearing what happened to your brother–an innocent man minding his own business–when those thugs attacked. The women and male punks who were with them opted to engage in behavior ananthema to polite society (i.e., civilized society). They forfeited any good will your brother could have extended when they attacked and bloodied him.

    I wish him a full recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you. My blog traffic indicates many others are thinking of him too. Thank God he is okay.

  3. “Shock: If his attackers were not deterred, he should have moved on them with a level of force they would have never foreseen coming from their victim (sticking his thumbs in their eyes and swiping hard would have worked nicely).”

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. It wasn’t just two “girls” he was fighting against. It was the entire mob standing around him, filming the scene and laughing. If he had really hauled off against these girls, you can bet the entire mob would’ve have joined in, and he would be dead meat.

    I agree that the attackers were evil, but what about the entire crowd that did nothing to help? Let’s not overlook the bigger picture here.

    Thousands of scenes like this that occur every day in this country are the reason for “white flight.” Whites are made to know that they aren’t welcome in a neighborhood. They are literally pushed out. Whether you fight back as an individual or not, it eventually wears you down, and the only option is to move out.

  4. I’m very well aware there were more than two girls. There’s no way to prove he would have been “dead meat” OR what the bystanders (or the pitiful DC Metro staff) would have done had he behaved differently. It’s my contention that he would have been been better off had he forcefully defended himself from the get go. There’s really no way to know.

    It’s been my experience that thugs generally don’t want to mess with people who exude strength, confidence, and poise. Thugs like weak. You only speak for yourself when you say fighting back “wears you down.” Nothing strengthens me more than standing up and defending God-given rights from those who would seek to threaten them.

  5. I agree with Tim. Hitting the girls back hard would have been problematic for two reasons. First, he could have been arrested and jailed until he could got a lawyer to get him out of the situation — a grown man hitting an adolescent girl would not have looked good and the police would not have seen the situation. Second, if he had lost his balance or gone to the ground in the course of striking back at the girl the entire crowd of kids could have joined and he could have been severely hurt. It’s easy to be critical of him but the actual outcome of the situation was much better than it could have been. He stayed on his feet, kept distance, evaded, and ended up with nothing worse than scratches and bruises.

    As a viewer of the video I wish he had hit back hard just because watching the video makes me so angry at his attackers, and I want to see them punished. But in terms of the practicalities he was dealing with he probably did the right thing. He was facing a life-threatening situation.

    1. Thanks for the comment. You make some valid points. In my post I mention that the first thing he should have done was to hit the emergency buttons located throughout all metro stations. I also mention that “subduing” his attackers was an option.

      Overall, I think one of the most important lessons to take away from this story is to always have situational awareness. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the metro stop Allen was at, but it’s one where a keen sense of your surroundings is advice well taken.

      I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen on the metro who are completely oblivious to what’s going on around them. It’s a recipe for disaster.

  6. There wasn’t much he could have done other than pay attention to avoid this circumstance in the first place. Unless he had a gun, fighting those girls would have done more harm than good as blacks usually attack in packs and even if he had knocked out one of those girls, her posse would have quickly jumped him and possibly murdered him.

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