The Charlestown man who took down a bad guy | PHOTOS, VIDEO James Pheils tackles the alleged offender on a Charlestown road.
The alleged offender approaches a car.
James Pheils runs towards the alleged offender on a Charlestown road.
Protection: James Pheils used aikido to stop an attack in Charlestown.
TweetFacebookA video of the alleged attack at Charlestown. Footage: KOFM.He used aikido (amartial art) during the incident, which happened last week.
James attends Newcastle Aikido, which has its dojo (martial arts studio) at Hamilton.
Aikido is a martial art that teaches harmony, discipline and energy control. Participants learn to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
“I’m not just a guy coming off the street wanting to be a hero,” James, 38, of Charlestown said.
“It’s something you get trained to do.”
James, an ex-Army officer, said the decision to take out the alleged offender was a “calculated risk”.
“I had to explain this to my kids,” he said.
His kids said “I’m gonna be like you dad”.
“But you’ve got to have the training to do it,” he said.
“It’s a split-second decision. The guy could have had a weapon.”
The alleged offender was charged with common assault, assaulting police, affray, resisting arrest and using offensive language over several incidents that day.
This included alleged assaults on three people.
As for James, he learnt that doing an aikido flip onconcrete is much different than doing it on a mat.
“I’ve torn ligaments in my rib cage, bruised it and I might have cracked it,” he said.
He found aikido to be a rational form of defence.
“There’s so many other martial arts where you can destroy people, but that’s not going to help your cause,” he said.
“That gets you in more trouble than it’s worth. I wasn’t trying to kill this guy, just subdue him to stop him [allegedly] hurting other people.
“I didn’t need to run in and do a fly-kick and crack him over the head, I just needed to take him away from the problem.
“Aikido fits into that mindset really well.”
Negative Nelly Catherine Cusack sent an explosive nine-page email to the Premier.
Readers might remember that we wrote aboutCatherine Cusack in late January, after she replaced Scot MacDonaldas the Hunter’s new parliamentary secretary.
In our article, we noted that Catherine had said she wantedto end Novocastrian “negativity”.
We took issue with this. We asserted in a negative rantthat if people wanted to express themselves in a “negative” way, good luck to ‘em. After all, one person’s negativity is another person’s positivity. And who decides what’s negative?
Imagine our surprise when we read Herald journo Michael McGowan’s story on Friday about Catherine Cusackresigningas parliamentary secretary to the Hunter.
Catherine had sent an explosive emailto Premier Gladys Berejiklian, which was leaked to the media.
Michael reported that this wasa“nine-page email attack”, in which she took aim at Liberal MP Don Harwin, describing him as“dreadful”, “easily flustered” and being “wafer-thin skinned”.
Geez Catherine. That’s quite negative. Although we’re glad you got that off your chest. Better out than in, eh.
The only thing is, we were starting to like you. But now you’ve left us. Who will be ournew parliamentary secretary for the Hunter?Will Scot MacDonald make a comeback?