Thai police officer Anirut Malee is being hailed a hero after now-viral security footage shows him purportedly talking down a knife-wielding man and neutralizing the would-be assailant…with a hug.
If the details that are circulating truly check out, Malee’s interaction with the 45-year-old man serves as a welcome respite amid a fairly negative news cycle of late.
The harrowing ordeal, which clearly had a happy ending, reportedly unfolded at the Huay Kwang police station in Bangkok earlier this month when the would-be assailant entered the station and began waving around a large knife.
That’s when Malee reportedly stepped in and, rather than grabbing a gun or another weapon, starting talking to the distraught man. What followed in the clip is Malee taking the knife from the man before embracing and comforting him — a heartwarming moment that has taken the Internet by storm.
The entire spectacle was caught on security video. Watch a clip of the incident that has been viewed more than 50 million times over the past 24 hours:
Malee has since spoken out about the exchange, explaining how he calmed the man down before authorities sent him to the hospital for a mental health check. Charges have reportedly not been filed.
“I heard him out and sympathized and said I had a guitar to give him, and suggested we go out for a meal together,” the cop said, according to the Daily Mail. “We were conversing in Southern Thai dialect.”
Malee reportedly also told Thai Visa News that the man was working as a security guard before the incident and hadn’t been paid. The man is a musician who had recently had his guitar stolen as well, with his difficult life circumstances reportedly impacting his decision to enter the police station with a knife.
In the end, some of the details are unclear and, as is always the case with these videos, it’s possible that it might not be authentic. Either way, the moment is clearly inspiring the masses and showing that, sometimes, a little love and compassion can change everything.