Transcript for What Would You Do: Teen boys verbally, emotionally abuse homeless person
Woah, something stink around here. Smelly man. Reporter: "Bum bashing," back in 2007 the phrase was used to describe the brutal and sometimes fatal attacks against the homeless. The internet was rife with the violent videos. We spotlighted this horrendous trend by setting up our cameras on a sidewalk in a New Jersey suburb. Stop, you idiot. Hey, hey, hey. Reporter: People came to the rescue quickly. What are you guys doing? Get going or I will call the police. Reporter: Today, although the homeless rate has dropped attacks against the homeless continue. So today we're back on the very same sidewalk we were ten years ago, outside of the marijana hair and color salon in Westwood, New Jersey. What do we got here? You stink, dude. Reporter: These bullies are ready to go. Please give it back. You're a piece of garbage. Hey! Get off the street, man. Please, just leave me alone. You're scum. Reporter: How will people react when they see a homeless man being verbally and physically attacked? Please stop. Just leave me alone. Reporter: What would you do? I don't want any trouble. You should get a job. Come on. Reporter: This mother and her daughters walk by taking in what's happening -- Please just -- hey, come on. I don't want any trouble. Reporter: They seem to struggle with whether or not to get involved. Please stop. Until this young girl has had enough. Please listen to them. I'm not doing anything wrong. He's stinking up the street. Yeah, he smells really bad. Okay, but you can just walk past, I mean -- He can go somewhere else. Reporter: They're joined by this concerned stranger. Leave him alone. These people are a burden on society. You're a burden on society, being rude to other people. Reporter: And now mom speaks up, telling them how they can be part of the solution. Get a job. Yeah, really. Why don't you help him out? Go get him a slice of pizza. We are going to clean up the streets. Why don't you go on your way. Don't clean the street. The street is okay. Go away. Thank you. Good-bye. See you guys. Bye. Thank you. Reporter: Hi, there. How are you? You guys stood there for a while, right? You didn't know what to do. Yeah. A little concerned about, you know, what would happen if we speak up, but then -- It was kind of my idea, and I was just like, after I saw them push him, I was just like, I'm done. I can't watch this anymore. Nobody chooses to live on the street. Nobody chooses that as their path. Reporter: But when the abuse is in their path, strangers often choose to stand up to the bullies. Just leave him alone. Thank you. Are you guys bullying this guy? Just leave him alone. Go back to wherever you're from. Mind your damn business, all right? He's nothing. He's a piece of garbage. You're nothing. I have no patience or tolerance for people like you, okay? Go. This is a nice town. You can't be here. He smells so bad. Maybe just a guy who's hard on his luck. Guys, at one point, there's a possibility that this can be any one of us, right? Reporter: But what if we switch things up, and instead of a homeless man, it's a homeless woman being abused. As he's walking by, this man takes a quick glance at our homeless woman, and he returns minutes later with something for her. Oh, thank you so much. No problem. Reporter: The good samaritan is already making his way down the block when the bullies approach Josephine. Oh, you stink. What the hell? Who gave you pizza? Reporter: But when he hears them harassing her -- What we got in here? How much is she making? She smells. So what happened? She's a human, right? Everybody has their own problems, man, so relax. Go on, man. Look at all this junk. It's garbage. Go, man. You want us to go, but she's the one who should go. All right, let me call the police right now. This is crazy. Reporter: Time for us to step in. They were three big guys. You're just one person. I don't care. I don't care. I say if I feel something is going wrong I'm going to talk about it. Reporter: Your message to people? Everybody has their own problems. Don't make a fun on it. They don't want to be like this, you know. Nobody wants to be like this. Why don't you get out of here? Get a job. Reporter: This next woman isn't afraid to step right up to the bullies. Hey! Leave her alone. Huh? Leave her alone. Leave her alone. Go. Go on your way before I call the police. This is harassment. Go! Why don't you guys just mind your business? Why don't you mind your business? Keep going. Keep going or I'm calling the police. I mean -- All right, you guys are calling it. Just leave her alone. This woman's trash. You're trash for thinking that. What kind of human are you? Do you have a religion? Obviously not. That's not what this is about. Yes, it is. Every person is god's child. She's trash. Look at her. No, she's not. It's all just garbage. Leave her alone! It's just trash in there. It's not trash to her. It is. Reporter: Hi, how are you? I'm John Quinones with "What would you do?" The TV show. She's an actress. The police already know. Never mind. Reporter: Boy, you got in their faces, these boys. You betcha! Reporter: You grabbed them and turned them away. Yes. Reporter: Why? Because she's a person, and because she lives like that, she shouldn't be treated like less than what she is. Just step in. That's the only way it's going to end. Reporter: We're at it again. What are you doing? Oh! Reporter: Her shirt says "Tired as a mother," but she's got plenty of energy to take on those bullies. You don't need to do this. Reporter: Then, two women from two different directions join in the fight. Get out of will! We're not doing anything. Go away! It's like five cents. You don't get to harass somebody. I think this is over. You can go on. You got your picture now. Go on. Call 911. Do I look good? Calling right now! Right now! Reporter: When yet another woman gets involved, this sisterhood now outnumbers the bullies four to three. Move. Why are you guys defending her? She's garbage. Get out of here now! Call 911, please. Westwood. Reporter: Hi, ladies, how are you? I'm John Quinones. This is part of a TV show. They're actors. Holy -- . Reporter: You were amazing. You stepped in. You're still shaken by it. Tell us why. Just seeing those kids acting the way they were acting to this is human being -- I really don't have any words, and they wouldn't move. Reporter: How do we fix it? Mostly parents, teachers. As a teacher for 33 years, I tried to instill in the children that I taught in elementary school how to treat other people. I gave them my teachers voice. But it wasn't a laughable matter.
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