PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There was no other option for Torago Flint on the night of Tuesday, October 18. He was wrapping up a night of work selling drinks and snacks in Rittenhouse Square, when he noticed a group of young men in the park, approaching different people and asking for money.
One of them had a gun and Flint decided to tackle him.READ MORE: Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause Throws Wrench In New Jersey Communities' Efforts To Inoculate Most Vulnerable
He was shot five times.
“I had to do it. Do you understand what I’m saying? I had to do it,” Flint said, sitting down exclusively with Eyewitness News.
“I didn’t think I was shot until I saw the blood, man. I really didn’t feel anything other than I knew something was hitting me. I’m watching him do this and it’s like eh, eh, eh. It was like this can’t be serious, this can’t be real. When one kid tried to steal my bike, I get up, chase him. I got bullets in me chasing someone and I get him to give my bike up and that’s when I look down and see, okay, I am actually bleeding. Okay this is actually real. Alright, time to go to heaven.”
Flint’s friend found police, who rushed Flint to the hospital where he underwent surgery.
You’re just doing your work and you get shot five times in the middle of Center City Philadelphia. Is that not surprising to you?
“I’m used to things like this happening. I’m sorry but I’m black and when you’re black things happen,” Flint said. “Getting shot does not hurt. Getting shot doesn’t hurt healing does. So, if anything ever impedes you from doing what you have to do, don’t let it be a gunshot. Do what you have to do, save your mother, save your wife, save your kids.”READ MORE: Police: 79-Year-Old Man Killed In North Philadelphia Fire
Does this change your opinion of Philly at all?
“Absolutely not. This is just what I would expect. I’m serious. I don’t care what part of the city it happened in, the only thing that surprised me was that they were stupid enough to do it,” Flint explained.
There’s been talk that if this hadn’t happened in Rittenhouse Square, if this had happened in another part of Philadelphia, it wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much attention. Do you agree?
“Sure, sure, yeah, I just would have been another dude.”
You’re being hailed a hero.
“I don’t know why,” Flint said.
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“No, I do not. I can’t imagine what I would do to make myself feel like a hero. All that stuff is normal. If you have a chance to do what you need to do, it’s normal.