Narrative and spin warps nearly everything mainstream media puts out these days. This is no different with the abysmal reporting of the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Staff Sergeant Richard Hy. An unidentified individual was harassing people on a busy street in Buffalo, New York. Dozens of calls came into police that the individual was exposing himself to women. Also, that he was spitting on people and their cars. This went on for nearly two hours. Despite claims he was swinging his skateboard at by-passers and screaming threats, responding police did not take him in. Officers decided he didn’t meet the threshold to be detained, and left.
That’s when Hy, an Army Reservist and off-duty police officer, arrived on the street to run errands. Some may know him from his social media channels as “AngryCops” where he makes humorous videos and sketches.
Soldier harassed for wearing uniform
However, the lighthearted comedian was unaware of the activities when he parked his vehicle. The man, who eyewitnesses described as “mentally ill,” saw the uniform and began to target Hy. The man began spitting on Hy’s vehicle and shouting insults. These included anti-government sentiments, as well as personal insults.
A video of the incident was posted to Facebook, but was deleted shortly afterwards. However, in the video it could be seen that the man wielding the skateboard was lunging back and forth at Hy, with every indication he was going to strike.
The two stared back and forth for moments. Richard Hy, a Veteran of Iraq, can be seen acting in a way that would indicate self defense. The man who initiated the confrontation lunges forward and the two collide. That is when Hy drops him with a right punch. The pair fall to the ground, and Hy pins the man down. He does this by sitting on his chest, while witnesses call police, again.
It would take about 5 minutes for officers to arrive, but in that time a crowd assembled. Some shouted unfounded accusations at Hy, while others who witnessed the entire event, came to his defense. A man in a motorized wheelchair arrived, brandishing an aluminum bat at Hy. Thankfully, officers intervened and deescalated the situation. The man was reported to be uninjured and taken via ambulance to a hospital for evaluation. This being what many believe should have happened much earlier in the day.
Nevertheless, all this did not stop ill-informed onlookers from shouting demands that Hy be arrested as well. Truly a sad day when an uniformed soldier is accosted, and the mob tries to cancel him instead of the aggressor. Much like how the T.V. show Cops was taken off the air.
Hy has faced criticism in the past for his satire videos that parody the extreme aspects of police life. However, many supporters claim this humanizes a profession that is considered to be among the most stressful.
Despite this real life confrontation being a clear cut case of self defense, media reports have led with headlines that at first glance, paint Hy as the bad guy. This is all too common in this day and age where more people get their news from the headline, without actually reading the article itself. Situations are often times more complex than can be described in 10 words, or less. Moreover, we need to all remember there is usually more to a story than more a short cell phone video can convey. Particularly, in the case of Richard Hy.