Brooklyn, NY – A retired New York police detective was forced to draw his concealed firearm to defend himself and others from a bat-wielding man on the subway (video below).
The tense encounter occurred during the morning rush hour on a Brooklyn G train on June 19, WCBS reported.
Retired New York Police Detective David Morales, a 28-year veteran-of-the-force who now works as an investigator for the Administration for Children’s Services, said that he was in the midst of his morning commute when another passenger on the train became irate.
“Apparently my bag must have touched his bag and he must have been having a really, really bad day, and he erupted,” Morales told WCBS. “I could see he had some issues. I don’t know what they were, but he was really angry.”
The suspect, later identified as 40-year-old Brian Baksa, then pulled out a wooden baseball bat and accused the retired detective of threatening him, a New York Police Department (NYPD) spokesperson told ABC News.
“What you don’t see in the video, he did take the bat out and he did put it behind his back for a swing,” Morales, 54, explained during a WCBS interview. “That’s when I said ‘okay I’m in trouble here’ and took out my gun to make sure that he would stay away from me.”
When Baksa spotted the retired detective’s gun, he decided not to take the swing, Morales said.
Bystander cell phone footage captured the tense standoff that followed.
“Stay where you’re at,” Morales told Baksa repeatedly, as he calmly held his weapon down at his side.
Baksa accused Morales of having “a pissing contest” with him, and demanded that Morales “respect” his “f--king bag,” the video showed.
At one point during the altercation, Morales identified himself as a police officer, and told Baksa that he was under arrest.
“You’re threatening me!” Baksa yelled repeatedly, briefly gripping the bat with both hands.
Other passengers moved to the opposite side of the subway car while Morales kept the irate suspect contained in a corner.
Morales calmly instructed Baksa to “step back” multiple times while the suspect continued to scream that he had “pulled a gun” on him, the video showed.
“You disrespected me, and you disrespected my bag!” Baksa yelled angrily in the midst of a profanity-laced tirade. “And you disrespected my whole f--king family!”
“Walk away, walk away,” the retired detective instructed.
Baksa ultimately stepped off of the train and attempted to run from police, ABC News reported.
He was quickly apprehended and arrested on charges of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree menacing.
The NYPD Transit Police Department later praised Morales for how he handled the volatile encounter.
“His blood still blue, retired NYPD Detective Dave Morales showed calm and restraint when a man threatened subway passengers with a bat,” the department tweeted. “Now an Administration for Children’s Services investigator, Dave’s concern and care for kids carried over to fellow subway riders yesterday.”
“Great work Dave – Your professionalism is everyone’s benefit!” NYPD Transit Police added.
Morales said he used his police training to stop the situation from escalating further, WCBS reported.
“I think he was looking to commit a crime that day, if it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else,” he noted.
“This retired NYPD member of the service should be commended for his restraint and his tactics in this incident,” NYPD spokesperson Phil Walzak told the New York Post.
“He can be seen alerting people outside the train car to move away for their safety, and directing riders on the subway to move away from the perpetrator,” Walzak added. “He is constantly checking his surroundings while still focusing on the perpetrator, and keeping his weapon pointed downward.”
You can watch footage of the retired detective’s encounter with Baksa in the video below: