Shawn Daivari gives in-person interview after viral video - KMSP-TV

Shawn Daivari gives in-person interview after viral choke-out video

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  • Professional wrestler KOs unruly man hurling slurs, threats on light rail

    Professional wrestler KOs unruly man on light rail

    Wednesday, November 14 2012 12:45 AM EST2012-11-14 05:45:18 GMT
    For most of his professional wrestling career, Shawn Daivari has been booed as a Middle-Eastern bad guy, but the Minnesota native of Persian descent is now being cheered as a hero.
    For most of his professional wrestling career, Shawn Daivari has been booed as a Middle-Eastern bad guy, but the Minnesota native of Persian descent is now being cheered for the role he played outside the ring last week -- hero.

A couple of weeks ago, Shawn Daivari moved back to Minnesota -- and the professional wrestler spoke with FOX 9 News in person for the first time since the story of how he saved light rail passengers from an unruly man broke.

While growing up in Minnetonka, Daivari idolized professional wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and television shows like "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers," but he never imagined he would have his own action figure one day -- let alone become a real life superhero.

"Some of the guys I work with confuse themselves with their characters, but I've always -- since day one -- had a clear, defined cut of who's Shawn Daivari and who's Daivari on TV," he said. "We're not the same guy."

Yet, he may have to be understanding if that line is a little blurred for the rest of us -- especially when you consider that Daivari had strep throat when he got on the train in the Warehouse District and Levin Blair began hurling racial slurs. Things only got worse when a man with a bike asked Blair to move.

"I was watching this, waiting for something to happen," Daivari recalled. "I was going,'These guys are going to ruin my day right now.'"

Daivari said that when another passenger in the back of train told Blair to sit down and be quiet, Blair took off his backpack and threatened to kill him. That's when he sprang into action, using a choke hold to bring Blair to the floor. He held him until Blair lost consciousness -- and control of his bladder.

"When the whole thing happened, I had no exit strategy," Daivari told FOX 9 News. "I just stopped the guy, and when he was stopped I was going, 'What do I do now?' We just happened to hit a stop and the doors just happened to open -- and I was like, 'There we go!'"

However, as Daivari threw Blair off the train and onto the platform along with his back pack, a well-meaning passenger tossed Daivari's jacket out as well, believing it belonged to Blair.

"There goes my jacket," Daivari said, pointing out the moment in the surveillance video. "And then I get back in the seat and I'm like, 'Did I have a jacket?' It's freezing! It was so cold."

Since the video went viral, Daivari says he has gotten kudos from fans across the country; however, he said he has no interest in fighting crime for a living. He was just trying to help someone in need.

"It was like holding a door for someone or taking groceries for an old lady," Daivari explained. "I was just helping someone out. I had no idea it would be perceived as a nice, noble, big deal-type gesture."

Daivari also got a note of thanks from the man with the bicycle, along with lots of pats on the back and maybe a few free drinks.

Officials did catch up with Blair, but they declined to charge him.

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