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stand clear of the pepper spray

Pepper Spray Backfires on Good Samaritan, Entire Subway Car

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29:  Commuters wait for the subway August 29, 2011 in New York City. One day after Hurricane Irene hit New York the mass transit system, including subways and buses, began moving again in a limited capacity in time for Monday's rush hour.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

From deep under the city comes a lesson in thinking things through: When a passenger on an uptown 6 train tried to break up a couple's nasty-sounding fight, the man punched him in the face. So the would-be good Samaritan got out his pepper spray and blasted the guy. This did not go well. The spray filled the car and sent three people to the hospital, while the couple slipped out in the confusion before cops could arrive. Alas, there's just no established etiquette for using pepper spray on the subway.

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Photo: Joe Raedle/2011 Getty Images