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New York's newest subway hero: 'Snackman'

NEW YORK -- It was on a Thursday night in March that Charles Sonder, 24, and a friend got on an uptown train to meet friends for drinks, grabbing some cheddar Pringles and a bag of Gummi bears to share for sustenance.

During the next few minutes, as the train rolled through darkness toward its next stop, Sonder would go from being a Brooklyn architect who wrestled in high school, to "Snackman," New York's newest subway hero. 


Sonder's rise happened thanks to a YouTube clip posted on April 2 that has garnered more than 1 million views so far and a fair amount of coverage in local media, including even The New York Times.

So what happened?

On the train, a fight between a man and a woman broke out; curses were uttered, and punches and kicks were thrown. The woman kicked first, but then the man kicked her back.

At that moment, Sonder moved toward the door of the train car, where the man was standing, and parked himself there. No words were spoken. Sonder just stood there, a barrier between the fighting couple, calmly munching on his chips as a cell phone camera captured the entire scene.

"I decided to break up the fight when I saw the man kick back at the woman," Sonder, an all-state wrestler in high school in Rhode Island, told The Providence Journal. He told the paper he didn't feel threatened by either of the two people.

The response has been huge. The Web came up with the nickname "Snackman," and, according to the New York Times, Sonder first heard about it when his mother texted him "Hey Snackman" one day.

Sonder told DNAinfo.com, a local news site, he's received about 50 messages — including marriage proposals.

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