Exclusive: NYU Local Speaks With Subway Snacking Hero Charles Sonder

NYC’s latest YouTube subway hero is Charles Sonder — the casual snacker who broke up a fight on a nighttime 6 train. NYU Local spoke to Sonder about snacking, subways, and the attitude of casual New Yorkers.

What were you going on the 6 train that day?
It was a Thursday night about 9:30pm; my friend Dan Csank and I were heading uptown to grab some drinks with a couple of girls after leaving our favorite bar, Home Sweet Home.

What were you eating?
A stack of Cheddar Pringles that my friend had shared with me. The bag in my hand was Gummi Bears.

Why did you feel the need to break up that fight?
I felt the need to stop the fight as soon as I could. It seemed that the girl was the first one to make physical contact, but that’s no excuse for any man to kick any female. I had to do something. Everyone else was just sitting there watching.

Do you mind your own business on the train? Was this incident out of character for you?
Typically I mind my own business on the train. In this case, I thought someone may have needed help. I would consider myself a helpful person as well as a bit of a “snacker.”

Are New Yorkers rude if they don’t break up a fight?
I don’t think it means that you are rude if you don’t break up a fight. I wouldn’t expect a little old lady to get in the middle of a scuffle. But I wasn’t afraid of these two combatants.

What’s your favorite all time snack?
I would say those Cheddar Pringles hit the spot that night on that train. It depends on the mood I’m in.


    Share Your Thoughts


  1. Yamir N says

    What about the lady who actually confronted him? Doesn’t she deserve some recognition? I mean after all, she just confronted a man who displayed violence towards another woman. Yes, it was brave of the student to stand there but ask any New Yorker who the hero was and I’m sure they’d say it was the lady asking the guy to leave the train.

  2. Charles M says

    It’s always most difficult for that first person to step in as did Sonder. In fact, that’s the reason his passive way of doing so is brilliant. It diffused the situation which resulted in more and more of the crowd confronting the offender. The woman, although highly admirable as well, may not have gotten involved if Sonder or someone else hadn’t stepped in. Regardless, they’re both heroes, really.

  3. Renee says

    Find out the ladys’ name too. She actually confronted the man and asked him to switch trains. Looked as though her and “snackman” both intervened at the same time. Good job to both for not allowing things to escalate.