Editor, The Spotlight,
I would like to take this opportunity to start the New Year off right by bringing attention to a selfless act. While pulling up to the entrance of our local Walmart this week I saw two vehicles stopped in the crosswalk. The driver of a truck directly in front of me appeared to be recording an incident as it unfolded in front of him. I quickly realized the vehicle in front of him had occupants involved in a dispute between a male and female. The female was a Walmart employee and shortly after some pushing and hair grabbing, the male got in the passenger seat and his vehicle started to drive away. For whatever reason the male then jumped out of the moving vehicle and again tried to confront the female who was retreating into the store. As I exited my truck to help, this young man who appeared to be in his late teens, had also exited his vehicle and stepped into the male’s path and was able to peacefully get him to turn and walk away. Crazy I thought to myself, but admirable none the less. The young man told me he had the entire incident recorded on his phone and I told him to stand by for the police. I myself followed the vehicle out of the lot and back to the city of Albany while I reported the incident to the Bethlehem Police. Once back I reported to management my involvement and after shopping for a half hour I left. Apparently the police had not arrived at that point as the young man was still waiting to share his video with someone. I had been concerned myself of the offender’s return, and not seeing a police presence didn’t make me happy but maybe we just missed them. I instructed the young man not to wait longer and to call the police and leave his name as a witness. It wasn’t until after I left that I realized I had known the young man when he was much younger growing up and I had not recognized him as the son of a former police colleague. It was obvious he was raised well and used his verbal skills to persuade this offender to move on before the incident escalated, and at his own peril as an unarmed citizen. It should be noted that while this incident transpired there were MANY people who witnessed what was going on and chose to just walk on by or watch from a distance. Shame on them and congratulations to Brady Hughes, a high school senior at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, for stepping up and putting yourself in harm’s way because it was the right thing to do. You made your family and community proud of you this day and are a role model to how we should all behave when faced with a choice like this.