For most of us February 12, 2011 is a forgettable day. Do you remember what you did? What you ate? What you wore? Joe Lozito remembers. It was the day of his fateful encounter with spree killer, Maksim Gelman on a subway in NYC. By the time of this meeting, Gelman had been on a 28 hour rampage that had left four dead and five others wounded. Why is this story important? Is it because Mr. Lozito tackled a madman with an untrained single leg takedown?
Is it because he had been gravely wounded during his stoppage of a man whose violence had held the city hostage for more than a day? Or is it the fact that while this brave man defended himself and a subway car of onlookers the police stood by and watched. That’s it. The story of Joe Lozito isn’t important because of his MMA ties, it is because it is a story that should resonate with each and every one of us. If we are in danger, almost all of us grew up with the expectation that the police would be there to help us, not stand by and watch as we are sliced and stabbed within inches of death.
This is the saga of Joe Lozito. Not only was Mr. Lozito seriously injured in his encounter with Gelman but it all happened in vicinity of NYC police officers who stood watching in the safety of an engineer’s booth on the same car. Literally adding insult to injury, Lozito would later learn that the police were under no obligation to protect him. They didn’t know him. They held no special relationship with him. They didn’t know that he was being attacked by Maksim Gelman, the man who had terrorized their city for more than a day.
If we are ‘family’, as we say in the combat sports community, this story should resonate with us all. Joe is one of us, he is us. He is our own face in the mirror on any given day when we might be confronted with inexplicable horror and left to fend for ourselves. I am encouraged by the fact that his story continues and in true warrior spirit, his voice has not died, accepting the simple pat on the back and “Good looking out, chief” he was given by the city. Although his civil suit was dismissed with the indication that the NYC had no special duty to protect him, he fights on. I encourage you to follow him on this very interesting journey. If you have not already done so, check out his story on wearechange.org, follow him on Twitter @joe_lozito or like his Facebook page, Justice For Joe Lozito.
You can also check me out here on whoatv.com for updates. Giving credit, where credit is due, attempting any sort of takedown on an armed man is commendable Joe, whether you consider your single leg, “sloppy” or “untrained”, it took a great deal of courage to attempt it. We salute you.
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