Spencer Platt, a photographer with Getty Images, said he was on the top deck of the boat heading toward Staten Island around 11 a.m., talking on the phone after taking some photos of Yang, who was headed to campaign events.
Platt said when he turned around, the man was "just right in my face, like an inch away."
The man pushed him, sending him down onto a bench, and Platt said he saw he was carrying some kind of metal rod.
Platt shouted for help and Yang came running out to his aid from the inside area of the ferry. By all accounts the attack was unprovoked and the man appeared to be somewhat mentally unstable.
"He [Yang] came out … and he just kind of yelled, the guy turned around, and that allowed me to just kind of bolt out of there," Platt said.
Once the assailant recognized former presidential candidate and now superhero, Andrew Yang, he relaxed.
"I think most people would have the same impulse I had – to try and do anything that you can to protect somebody who might be threatened or endangered," Yang said in a statement. "I got up and tried to intervene as quickly as I could. I'm glad that when he turned he saw me and recognized me, and the situation deescalated quickly."
I can think of many politicians who would likely have done the same thing. Andrew Yang just seems like the kind of good egg who would want to help. I can also think of many others who would probably have run farther away.