Let’s Talk: Are you worried about being a Good Samaritan these days?

When 65-year-old Norman Olsen spotted a woman in distress, he decided to “step in” to the altercation. This decision would

When 65-year-old Norman Olsen spotted a woman in distress, he decided to “step in” to the altercation. This decision would ultimately cost Norman his life, and it’s forced people to ask whether being a ‘Good Samaritan’ is wise these days.

Norman was driving with his wife through Brisbane, when he spotted a young man and woman arguing by the side of the road. The Vietnam veteran pulled his car over to intervene, but was allegedly pushed by the 22-year-old man.

Devastatingly, Norman fell and hit his head on the ground. He was rushed to Princess Alexandra Hospital, where his family was later forced to turn off Norman’s life support.

The 22-year-old involved, James Callow, is expected to be charged using Queensland’s tough new one-punch laws. Meanwhile, tributes have flowed in for Norman Olsen.

“Special thoughts are with this family. We didnt know you (Norman), but a true gentleman and hero standing up for what is right who made the ultimate sacrifice for protecting a woman”, wrote Facebook user Trish Palmer.

Whilst Brooke Jewell added online, “What a wonderful caring man. (Norman’s) family should be proud of his selflessness. So sorry for their loss in such a heartless manner”.

Unfortunately for some people, this latest troubling incident has called into question whether being a ‘Good Samaritan’ is safe in 2016.

Facebook user Tabitha Elliott wrote, “I don’t interfere. The girlfriend will forgive the boyfriend and they will get back together till it happens next time. It wouldn’t have been the first time he was physical with her, and won’t be the last”.

Whilst Peter Rowe observed, “This is where our culture of not getting involved comes from. Tragic loss of a well intentioned person”.

What’s your take? Would you “step in” to an altercation? Or is being a Good Samaritan simply too risky in 2016?

Charges against a man alleged to have caused fatal head injuries to good Samaritan Norman Olsen have been upgraded to manslaughter.

Posted by Brisbane Times on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

  1. Chris Keenahan  

    It’s sad that our society has come to this. Tabitha Elliott is right in her comment. I interfered when a young man smashed a glass of beer next to his gf’s head while choking her off. He was in her face screaming at her. I drove her home safely. Next week I saw the same girl hand in hand with the same guy. Go figure.

  2. Vanessa Wright  

    It is fine to say that she will forgive him, they will be all lovey dovey next time, but what if there is no next time for that same girl? What if you don’t “interfere”? What if what you had seen and chose to ignore turned out to be some guy terrorising some random female and the next thing you hear that she has been killed just after you chose to ignore it? Could you live with that? I know I couldn’t. I would be in there as quick as a flash (and I have done this and had my life threatened before), but it is worth it not to have to live the alternative outcome.

  3. Angie B  

    What a tragic loss for his family. This man was a true hero.

  4. Jenny Little  

    I was brought up to tell the truth & help when possible. I started training as a nurse in Jan 1965 in the old hospital trainee system. “help where you are able!”….. A few years down the track we were told that if in the street & a witness to a drama – i.e. traffic accident ” Do not give aid or say you are a nurse?….. Why….. because “they” said if you gave aid & the person died – no matter what your efforts then you could be charged with murder!……… So NO Wonder even caring people do nothing! – even today…. It is they that cop the flack!…… SO 50yrs down the track it’s no wonder people seem uncaring…… They have been frightened out of “Caring for their Fellow Man
    …….. Shame on those who have promoted litigation for so long! & for the test of us for being duped!

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