Bystander breaks up KC bar brawl by body slamming man reaching for gun

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A bar brawl was interrupted when a brave bystander jumped in and body slammed a man who allegedly pulled out a handgun. The fracas happened early Wednesday morning at John's Big Deck on Wyandotte Street in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

The bar’s manager, Chad Sander, said in the seven years his family has owned John’s, they've never had a shooting – which remains true thanks to one brave bystander.

“You don’t have time to think about, like I’m scared to do this, you either just do it or you don’t,” explained Ryan Sylva in an exclusive interview with FOX 4 on Thursday.

It was a split-second decision for Sylva, who made the choice to help break up a bar fight while he was hanging out with friends at John’s Big Deck.

GalanHillProsecutors said half-a-dozen men started to brawl on the second floor near the pool table, when 29-year-old Galen Hill pulled a handgun out.

“It was really shocking,” Sander said of seeing the weapon. “Like, it took me way off guard. It’s something I’m definitely not used to because that’s not the type of crowds we attract.”

Sander and his bouncer tried to gain control of the situation when Sylva, standing at 6’1" and 280 pounds, stepped in and took matters into his own hands.

“I was right there, but Ryan was the one that had the momentum and was all over it,” Sander said.

Sylva explained, “I just, as quick as I could, just stepped around like for wrestling, just kind of ducked under to the backside of him and just picked him up around the waist and slammed him on the ground.”

The gun hit the floor, and Sylva was able to grab it and unload it – skills he learned during more than a decade of working in nightclub security.

“So I`m just used to adverse situations and keeping a calm head,” he said. “It was just second nature.”

In the past Hill has pleaded guilty to five different crimes, including felony possession of marijuana with intent to sell. He is now facing federal charges for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

If convicted in this new charge, he could face up to 10 years in prison or be required to pay a $250,000 fine.

Meanwhile, Sylva just believes he was in the right place, at the right time.

“You just have to be committed to doing something," he said. “There is risk involved, sure. But you’re not really thinking of that then. There’s not a lot of time for that. You either do something or you run away.”