Heroic bystander steps into the void

The last thing anyone wants to do when walking at 2 a.m. during a Boston winter is to throw themselves into harm’s way. But that’s exactly what one young woman did on Allston Street in Brighton on Jan. 26. She saw two men standing over a third man, slamming his head on the pavement. She didn’t think twice about throwing herself over the unconscious victim — a homeless man in his 50s — thereby halting the attack. She waited there until police arrived, holding the man’s head while seated on the bloody sidewalk.

“I think anybody would have done the same thing,” the rescuer, who declined to be identified, told the Globe. But very few people have the bravery to stop a street attack late at night. The alleged assailants, both 23-year-old former college football players, were arrested after a three-month grand jury investigation. They pleaded not guilty.

The victim, Michael Hudson, is no longer homeless. He suffered a brain hemorrhage in the assault and was rushed to the hospital, where he remained for three days. He has no memory of what happened. But without the bravery of the young, anonymous passerby, Hudson might not be alive at all.