An assault and attempted robbery near Medford's Tinseltown goes awry when the would-be robbers' target turns the tables by fighting back. The victim in this weekend's attack even captured the results on his cell phone camera. NBC5's Laura Cavanaugh spoke with the victim to hear his side of the story. We do want to warn you that video you are about to see may be disturbing.
A video posted on youtube following a violent physical attack at the Medford Center on Sunday is causing quite the buzz.
But the man behind the video and his story is one you might not expect. Police say this man, Brandon Shawnego, acted in self-defense when two men, who were perfect strangers, reportedly cornered him and tried to steal his backpack.
"They said they were going to take my stuff and kick the (expletive) out of me, he says.
It was not the intended game plan this father of two was hoping for on his Father's Day. Shawnego was walking through the Medford Center parking lot on his way to church Sunday when he experienced the run-in with two suspects, identified as Cameron Manning and Joseph Myazaki. They asked Shawnego for a cigarette.
He said he did not have one, but that's when things took a dangerous turn. The victim says the suspects surrounded him and grabbed his backpack. But that was not an option. The backpack contained some precious cargo -- Father's Day gifts from his kids.
Cornered and outnumbered, the 35 year-old says he acted in self-defense throwing a couple of swift punches. Worried that police might not believe him, Shawnego grabbed his cell phone and caught the aftermath on camera.
Eyewitness Brittany Nelson says the suspects would not stop menacing despite being bloodied. But police agree Shawnego was well within his rights.
"His actions were actually justified because the law says if you feel that unlawful physical force is going to be used against you...you have the right defend yourself," says Lt. Mike Budreau with the Medford Police Department.
Bottom line, Shawnego says he hopes would-be assailants will think twice about doing something like that to anybody again.