The gentleman was walking about 100 feet ahead on the south side of Market Street, heading toward downtown and crossing the intersection with Guerrero. I’d say he stood slightly over six feet tall, with short curly hair, dark complexion, and slender build. He had the light in his favor and he stayed within the confines of the crosswalk. There’s a very long building on this side of Market that blocked my view of the oncoming traffic on Guerrero.
Therefore, I had no idea that he was about to die.
Fortunately, he did not. He shouted “HEY!!!” at the top of his lungs and leaped about six feet backwards, spinning in the air. A BMW four-door ran over the spot where he had been walking, screeching to a halt about ten feet later. In other words, if he hadn’t jumped, he would have been killed before my eyes. He grew just a tad upset, so as he leaped to safety, he simultaneously spun in the air and kicked the BMW.
I need to define “kicked.” In this context, the word means that with one flick of his right foot, he connected with the left front corner of the car. His kick smashed all of the lights on that part of the car, stove in the bumper, stove in the grille, and literally cratered the left front corner. I mean, he put a two-foot wide, 8-12 inch deep crater into a BMW. This guy was not a martial arts student; he was not a martial arts expert; he was a martial arts master. I saw what he did, and yet he struck so fast that I did not see what he did.
Then he resumed walking down the south side of Market Street, hands in pockets, as if nothing had happened.
The driver (and only occupant) of the BMW got out of the car. She was a skinny young blonde woman no more than five feet tall, still holding her cell phone in her left hand (the reason she had nearly killed the man). She left the driver’s door open, the car key in the ignition, and the motor running–I kid thee not–and ran after the martial arts master, screaming at the top of her lungs. “You damaged my car! You damaged my car! You have to pay for that! What’s you name?! Tell me your name!” I was still 100 feet behind him, but I’m pretty sure he said nothing in reply, because she kept screaming “What’s your name?!” over and over and over. She started pounding on his left shoulder with her fists (still holding the cell phone in her left hand), but she was so short that she had to jump to reach high enough to “pound” his shoulder. I put quotation marks around pound because it was the sort of ineffectual pounding that neither you nor I would feel. The “pounding” certainly didn’t affect him; he didn’t even take his hands from his pockets.
Still, she kept pounding and screaming. Finally, he paid attention. Sort of. Still looking straight ahead, still not saying anything, he pointed backwards with his right hand over his left shoulder. She stopped and watched him walk for a few seconds, still pointing over his shoulder. Then she screamed, “My car!” She ran back to her car that she had left unattended in the middle of the crosswalk with the motor running (I had resisted the temptation of borrowing it to park it in a safer location–she probably would have misinterpreted my gesture). The light had turned green for the cars on Guerrero, but she didn’t seem to notice that cars whizzed past her diminutive frame at 30+ miles per hour as she ran into oncoming traffic before I realized what she was doing. Her turn to get lucky; she wasn’t even seriously threatened with injury, and she hopped back into her wounded BMW.
She recovered her car, but not her sense. She swerved onto Market Street heading toward downtown until she caught up with the martial artist who had inflicted about $2,000 worth of damage on her BMW with a single kick, set the emergency brake, turned off the engine, and took the keys with her as she ran up to the gentleman again, resumed screaming “What’s your name?!” over and over, and resumed her ineffectual pounding, resumed committing assault and battery against a man who could nearly cripple a very expensive sports car with a single kick. Technically, she was committing multiple felonies. This continued for about 50 feet until she exhausted herself, stopping and bending over, hands on knees, gasping for air.
The martial arts master walked a few more feet. Then he stopped.
He turned around and faced her. He did not say a word to her, but he removed his hands from his pockets, formed fists, and let them hang at his side. The driver of the BMW stared at his fists; even so, she still needed a few more seconds to regain her senses. When she had, she backed up very quickly, almost but not quite falling on her skinny butt, and then turned around and fled back to her car, gunned the engine and broke the speed limit as she sped away.
The martial arts master resumed walking down the south side of Market Street, hands back in pockets, as if nothing had happened.
He never said a word.
Vonn Scott Bair
PS–I must stress that his behavior was %100 correct and justified. He acted in self-defense against the car, but he never touched the woman. She, on the other hand, committed roughly thirty felonies and misdemeanors; one felony for nearly killing an innocent man, a few dozen more for assault, plus misdemeanors for little things like speeding.