Scott man helped injured Pirates catcher during road incident
June 16, 2011 5:00 PM
Eric Gay/Associated Press
Pirates catcher Chris Snyder
Joe Changle came to the aid of a woman who turned out to be the wife of a Pittsburgh Pirate.
By Sadie Gurman Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Scott man said he made a split-second decision to intervene and help the wife of injured Pirates catcher Chris Snyder Wednesday during what police described as a road rage incident.
He didn't recognize Mr. Snyder as the passenger in a car that was being kicked and scratched by an angry man at the BP gas station on Banksville Road. Nor did he know Mr. Snyder's wife, Carla, at whom he said the man was yelling and swinging.
In fact, Joe Changle said, he's not even a Pirates fan.
Still, Mr. Changle couldn't ignore Mrs. Snyder's yells for help.
"She was screaming, 'help, help me, my husband just had back surgery and he can't do anything,'" said Mr. Changle, 22, of Scott. "I stepped toward the male and I said, 'You've got to chill out, you don't hit women.'
"I've got a pretty hot head, so he got pretty defensive real quick and tried to assault me. I said, 'Dude, don't threaten me, just back off.' I had to make a decision whether I was going to let him hurt me or possibly neutralize things."
Mr. Changle, a former high school wrestler and volunteer firefighter, described the Wednesday encounter, which ended when police responded and filed charges against Subhash Arjanbhi Modhwadia, 44, also of Scott, including aggravated assault and criminal mischief. He remained jailed this morning on $25,000 bond.
Police said the scuffle happened after Ms. Snyder's vehicle narrowly avoided Mr. Modhwadia, who was driving a scooter, on Potomac Avenue. He apparently followed her into the gas station lot and threw the scooter down in front of her car, alarming her and Mr. Snyder, who was unable to intervene due to back surgery he had last week.
Mr. Changle said the stranger continued to attack despite his attempts to fend him off. Even when he got the man on the ground, he bit him in the arm. When an off-duty police officer arrived and took over, Mr. Modhwadia became combative again, eventually throwing a shoe in their direction.
"I think he was really convinced that they were actually trying to hurt him on purpose," Mr. Changle said.