The following CCTV footage shows an attack in a subway. Below that I offer some key points to highlight how the attackers intent could easily have been detected by the simple signs and indicators he was displaying and finish by highlighting some steps the victim could have done to prevent it from even happening.
Now I find this attack very interesting. It looks as though these two guys are the only people on the platform. The attacker (holding the bottle), is acting VERY suspiciously for three main reasons.
One, he is holding the bottle in an odd way. He is holding it like a weapon. Now that doesn't mean anyone holding a bottle like that intends to use it as a weapon, but it would certainly raise my alert status from yellow to orange.https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tyUuLe_Rjc8
Two, he walks all the way to the edge of the platform and has a REALLY good look up and down the railway lines TWICE. The fact that he did that even once was suspicious, especially when everything else is taken into account as well.
And three, the guy with the bottle is totally restless. He doesn't stop moving about at any time. He is clearly stimulated. Now this could be down to drugs but even that in itself is another warning signal.
Being restless is a sign that the person is adrenalised. It is a sign that he has made a decision to do something and that something has triggered some physiological responses. To us it means to be very aware because being hyper alert and restless is a clear indicator of what to look for in an attacker. And the video highlights that well.
Suspicious Activity to Trigger Responses
Any one of these signs should raise your awareness levels. Having the above three things identified should definitely trigger a number of responses.
His restlessness and visually checking up and down the train line should have raised alarm bells. Immediately (if not before, who knows what else the guy was doing before this footage began), the eventual victim should have gotten up and left the area or moved to where other people were. Even if it meant leaving the station altogether and getting another train.
Stand Don't Sit
Another option would be to at least NOT sit down and remain standing. He could have kept his bag in his arms and been prepared to use it as a shield and a weapon. This may have raised the caution of the attacker and he may have not attacked and waited for someone who was less of a threat.
NOTE: The attacker likely did not finally decide to attack the victim UNTIL he had engaged the man in conversation to gauge his confidence and level of capability. This happened sitting on the seat. Sitting is a poor position from which to defend yourself from. If he had remained standing as described above, the attacker may not have attacked him.
The eventual victim, if he was aware of the threat and could not leave for whatever reason, could have been more confident and less submissive and tried to place doubt into the attackers mind as to his ability to defend himself and fight back with intent.
Deny them the Element of Surprise!
By simply being aware of the man as a threat, he could have let the attacker know, the HE knew what he was up to. This may have put the attacker off. He was clearly attempting to use the element of surprise. If the man could have communicated that he was aware of his intent, even subtly, this may have been enough to deter his attacker.
Now watch the video again...
I am sure if you watch the video again, you will see the signs and indicators of the attackers intent and see that what the victim did (sit down, appear completely unaware etc), all contributed to the attack taking place.
As a final point, the victim was lucky. The attacker could just as easily have repeatedly slashed at the mans face or even have smashed the bottle into the throat, lacerating the carotid artery causing massive bleeding and possibly death. The actual attack was mild. With some simple actions it could have been totally avoided.
UPDATE: This original CCTV footage has been enhanced and updated with analysis of the Pre Attack Indicators in the very first video put together by Low Tech Combat! Check it out!