Sunday, March 3, 2013

New York City: Tourists, Travelers Need to Be Observant, Prepared for Unprovoked Attacks

As I have urged our readers to be over the years, being observant of people around you, watching how they move, focusing on their glances and interest in you in particular is something we should all learn to do instinctively.

Please let me emphasize that this is behavior we should learn and apply whether we're at home or while traveling.

On Friday (March 1) we saw a situation unfold when a well-dressed, long-haired blonde woman, 34, traveling with a friend in Times Square (both of whom were seemingly preoccupied with taking photos), when the blonde suddenly and without provocation was attacked at 1300 hours at the intersection of 46th Street and Broadway.

The assault occurred when Deanne Ostbye, 30, of Tacoma, WA, confronted the two friends enjoying Times Square, began shouting "freedom of speech" with the end result of the blonde being knocked to the pavement where she ended up with a deep, bloodied cash to her head.

Fortunately, one of New York City's "Finest," responded to the disturbance, facilitated the victim getting to Roosevelt Hospital and effecting an arrest of  Ostbye on charges of assault and public endangerment.

COMMENT: Interestingly, the assailant [Ostbye] seemed unaffected in being arrested and surprisingly posed for cameras with a strange smirk on her face. 

Although fortunately the victim in this case was not seriously hurt, this occurrence is a reminder for all of us to be observant of others around us as the sad reality is that many people we walk past every day are "not quite right," and may indeed pose a threat to our physical well-being.

Most of us look at others we encounter as "normal," but as we have seen all too frequently of late, many people we encounter each day are not well "mentally." 

It is essential that we learn to observe others around us for signs of  imminent threat, so we can respond accordingly. 

For both men and women who have not had self-defense training, I strongly suggest contacting your local police agency to determine if there are any "defensive tactics" instructors who might offer self-defense training to citizens. Barring that, consulting reputable security companies may also offer such "hands-on" training.