It's a Sunday afternoon in Merrick, N.Y. and people are shopping for clothes at a small clothing boutique called In Motion. Customers are browsing near a boots display when they hear a young man practically shouting at his girlfriend: "I want to be proud. When my friends see you, I want them to say you got the hottest girl in town."
The girl, however, is distraught. She's dressed in a conservative turtleneck sweater and is most comfortable looking like the girl next door instead of a pin-up girl. In spite of her protests, he's persistent, picking out skimpy clothing for her to try on.
We wonder: Will anyone support the macho manipulator, a 21-year-old actor who's working for us? Or will they come to the rescue of his 20-year-old fragile girlfriend, also an actor hired by ABC?
People start to notice.
After the boyfriend practically pushes his girl into the dressing room with the clothes he's selected, one woman offers some sensible suggestions.
"Am I that bad of a guy?" he asks.
"No but you have to work with her. ... Pick something out that you both like," she suggests, without criticizing the overbearing bully.
But not everyone is so passive.
As the actress begins to break down and cry, another woman hears the boyfriend tell her, "Don't cry, don't cry in front of people. Just put it on. ... That's what I like. You want to be with me right?"
He turns to the shopper, a young woman looking at the coats on a rack nearby.
"Am I wrong?" he asks.
"Yeah, you are wrong," she replies. "That's not how a woman should be treated. She's a pretty girl. She can go get someone else who treats her better than you do. ... You shouldn't talk to her like that."
She continues: "If you want a trashy girl you should get a trashy girl. She wants what she wants."
We catch up with the woman outside.
"He needed to know that he was a jerk, that he wasn't treating her right," she says. "I would definitely go to town on that guy."
And she's not the only one to confront the bullying boyfriend.
'You Would Just Drop Her Like That?'
After the boyfriend says, "You gotta wear what I like ... I'll find somebody else," an older man takes him to task.
"Wow, I think that's a weird comment," he says, standing with his wife. "You would just drop her like that? That sucks, man."
But the man's wife doesn't want him to get into a confrontation.
Later, she tells us, "I didn't like what he [the boyfriend] was saying, But I also didn't want him to confront him, because I didn't want to get into a fight or something."
We met many compassionate people at the boutique, including a mother-daughter duo who practically stood guard at the changing rooms, hoping to protect the young woman from her boyfriend.
The daughter, about the same age as our actress who's bearing the emotional abuse, says, "I went in there and started crying. I was genuinely afraid for you …I was horrified that someone would actually let them talk to them like that and treat them that way."
The young woman actually looked up an abuse hotline number for our actress to call.
We decided to substitute the obnoxious boyfriend with an overbearing mother, pushing her provocative clothing tastes on her conservative daughter.
Watch the scenario unfold on "What Would You Do?" Friday at 9 p.m. ET.