How a fistfight on the 22-Fillmore ended with a FaceTime video from mom

What would you do if saw something going sideways on Muni? Rider Brian Cunnie was on the 22-Fillmore when he and a couple of other riders stood up for a young woman when they saw her boyfriend’s threatening behavior. Brian ended up taking some punches for the stranger, but bus justice ruled the day. Here’s his story:

I hadn’t gotten into a fight in 30 years until last Thursday evening on the 22-Fillmore. A young couple came on the bus, and he started yelling at her and punching the bus next to her head, and I asked him to please take it outside, and he asked me what I said, and I repeated, “Please take it outside.”

And then he punched me in the face: left fist, right fist, left fist again. I tackled him. It wasn’t a perfect rugby tackle — I wrapped his midsection instead of his waist — but it was enough to bring him down. Two fellow passengers helped subdue him while we waited for the cops to show up. The cops moved us apart and one of the officers kept asking me if I needed an ambulance. Then they asked if I wanted to press charges. I said that if he said he was wrong for punching me, I wouldn’t press charges.

So the young kid came out and looked me in the eye and said he was wrong to punch me and that he was sorry. I nodded, we shook hands and did a half-hug. One of the cops said, “That’s beautiful, man.” And then his girlfriend showed a FaceTime video of his mom thanking me for not pressing charges.

It was incredibly exhilarating and I would have easily spent hundreds of dollars for that experience. I mean, it was awesome.

The guy I’m in the picture with — the guy on the left, I think his name is Taylor — is one of the passengers who held the guy down. Heroic.

My name is Brian Cunnie, I’m a 54-year-old software developer in San Francisco who plays rugby.

This reminds me of the time when riders stood up against a Muni creeper, and when another group of riders put an end to some asswipe who thought body shaming was OK. It’s good to know that we’ve got each other’s backs when it comes to bad behavior.

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One comment

  • Sammy

    “[H]e started yelling at her and punching the bus next to her head” and after the scuffle, Brian then shook this anger management challenged person’s hand and half hugged him? This is supposedly a positive story about “bus justice?”

    What in the heck?

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