David HowardThink you perform well under pressure? OK, picture this. You're standing on a train platform with two young boys. A complete stranger comes up, grabs them, and tries to throw the kids in front of an oncoming train. What do you do?
If you're the bad@ss New Jersey mom and grandmother who saw that happen to them this week, you tackle the freaky creep to the ground. Then you hold him there until the cops show up. That's right! You don't mess with Jersey! Fist pump!
Aww, come on. You're impressed too, aren't you?
Cops say 49-year-old David Howard was either high or intoxicated when he allegedly grabbed one of the two kids into a headlock and snagged the other by the shoulder, then began dragging them across the platform toward the oncoming train. Who knows what he really intended. Was he going to just throw the 7- and 9-year-old -- who he didn't know from Adam -- over the side and watch them die? Was he going to pitch himself over too?
Taking someone like that down is no easy feat. They are likely to have a higher pain tolerance because of the chemicals in their body. They're focused on their (horrific) mission and unlikely to be easily dissuaded.
To top it all off, Howard is 49 and a man. I'm not trying to peddle some sexist thinking here, but pure physics dictate this is no easy task. I've had to try to carry my 30-something husband when he wasn't feeling well, and I can tell you I struggled to do it with my much smaller female frame. And I should note he was NOT fighting me like this guy was with these women.
We have a happy ending here. The kids are fine, and Howard is sitting in a New Jersey jail facing two counts of attempted murder, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, and one count of aggravated assault on a police officer. But we'd be telling a very different tale today if two women weren't able to keep their cool and do something that seems pretty impossible from the outside.
I'd say they qualify as heroes, wouldn't you?
Image via Ramsey Police