Gym-goers at a California branch of Planet Fitness helped to tackle a hatchet-wielding attacker who was holding a victim at knife-point.
The incident, which occurred Corona, California, east of Los Angeles earlier this week, saw gym members spring into action as they managed to force the suspect to the floor and pin him down until police arrived on the scene.
One of those who tackled the suspect, John Keene, said he raced into action and acted on instinct, long before police were on site.
‘I kind of didn’t really hesitate. I didn’t have a game plan. The four of us, none of us even talked as we walked over there. We all did the exact same thing. And I felt that Steve, the guy with the hat, was going to go in and do something. So I thought, if he goes, I’m going to go because I didn’t want him to get hurt, too. So we didn’t really decide to do anything. We just did,’ Keene told Fox News.
Keene had been working out on a stair climber machine when he heard screaming and shouting coming from across the gym. It was then he noticed the suspect holding a man at knife-point.
A man weilding a knife and a hatchet, seen in blue, appeared to take a man hostage at a gym
People were working out when screaming and shouting was heard from another area of the gym – it saw people jump off their machines and race over to try help
‘At first, I thought it was an argument, so I kind of ignored it and after about a minute, it got louder, so I turned off the machine and got down to walk over there.’
Keene walked over along with three other men, with the intention of trying to help.
‘As I was approaching, three other guys came at the same time, and we didn’t really have a game plan at all. We just were going to try to help, if we could,’ Keene said.
Once the suspect dropped his hood to reveal his face, the victim managed to twist his body and tackled the suspect as gymgoers screamed in the background.
Four other men were able to assist in overpowering the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Ronald Chand from Santa Ana.
Once the suspect dropped his hood to reveal his face, the victim managed to twist his body and tackled the suspect as gymgoers screamed in the background
‘We all just bounced on him and disarmed him and held him down for the police. It kinda happened fast,’ John Keene explained. ‘I wasn’t scared at that moment. I felt the adrenaline after but because the victim acted, we didn’t have time to decide or think about it.’
‘We all just bounced on him and disarmed him and held him down for the police. It kinda happened fast,’ Keene explained. ‘I wasn’t scared at that moment. I felt the adrenaline after but because the victim acted, we didn’t have time to decide or think about it. I was involved before I thought about it,’ he said.
Chand was seen to be holding a knife and a hatchet but was able to be held down on the floor until police arrived on the scene.
‘It seemed like forever for the police to arrive, but it was probably two or three minutes and then a motorcycle cop came in,’ Keene said.
‘I got him on his back and I held his arm down so Steve could take the knife from him,’ Keene told ABC7. ‘And then there was hatchet there too and we handed it to somebody else and they took it away from the scene.’
Three men restrained the suspect, who had both a knife and hatchet, until the police arrived
Chand was holding a knife and a hatchet but was able to be held down until police arrived on the scene.
Once emergency services arrived, the victim, later identified as 36-year-old Bollywood actor Aman Dhaliwal, had been stabbed several times and was taken to hospital. Dhaliwal is expected to make a full recovery
Rachel Wolfe was also at the gym at the time of the incident and said she was shocked by what she witnessed.
‘I was terrified. I immediately called my husband and said there’s a man in here with a hatchet and another guy is bleeding, and he dropped what he was doing and ran down here,’ she told Fox 11.
‘It was terrifying. I was afraid. I didn’t know what was going to happen. It seems like a safe place. You come, you work out, you leave, but it just goes to show you, you’re not safe anywhere.’
Officials say the altercation began in the parking lot of the shopping center when the victim encountered the suspect acting erratically, leading the victim to begin recording the suspect.
Ronald Chand, 30, was transported to the Robert Presley Detention Center and charged with Attempted Murder, with bail set at $1,000,000.
The two weapons allegedly used by the suspect are pictured above
The suspect then became agitated, blocked the victim’s car with his own car and then stabbed the victim several times before entering the gym.
Upon entering the suspect was could be heard yelling ‘Respect us,’ and ‘give me water!’
One of those who assisted in the restraining said they could smell methamphetamine on the suspect.
‘When you pull up into any parking lot, look around to see who is around,’ said Keene. ‘Always be watching. Be willing to help other people, too.’
Once emergency services arrived, the victim, later identified as 36-year-old Bollywood actor Aman Dhaliwal who had been stabbed several times and was taken to hospital. Dhaliwal is expected to make a full recovery.
Chand was transported to the Robert Presley Detention Center and charged with Attempted Murder, with bail set at $1,000,000.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk