Jerusalem mayor wrestles knife-wielding attacker to ground

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 23, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Scary times in Jerusalem, an attack caught on tape and a mayor's swift action.

And now catching the world's attention, this surveillance video showing a crowd running away from a knife-wielding man after he stabbed an Israeli right on the street. Seconds later, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat seen here in white rushing toward him. This is the mayor of the city doing this.

I'm just thinking Bill de Blasio doing that here. Anything is -- I guess is possible.

The mayor now joining us on the phone.

Mayor, first of all, are you all right?

MAYOR NIR BARKAT, JERUSALEM, ISRAEL: Good evening. I'm in Jerusalem.

Of course I'm OK. I'm OK. We're back...


CAVUTO: What happened? What happened, Mayor?


BARKAT: Well, I was on my way to the office, and, coincidentally, we just were first at the light.

And my team sitting in the front of the car told me there's something going on. And I exited the car with my bodyguard. And we slowly approached to figure out, what is going on? Is it a fight or anything? We weren't sure what is going on.

And as we got close, we saw this terrorist with a knife in his hand, seeking, who else should he hurt? And so my bodyguard pulled his pistol and aimed at him. And he immediately froze and threw the knife on the floor.

And as he threw the knife on the floor, we tackled him on the ground and neutralized him. And then I looked around and I saw this wounded person and started treating him. And when we realize that there's no more terrorists around, we realized that the situation is under control. And we wait for the police and the ambulances to come and clear out the place.

CAVUTO: So, your bodyguard, isn't his first priority to tell you to stay down or stay away, he might even run to take care of this?

But he had no problem or he had no choice that you were going to get involved in this as well?

BARKAT: Well, first of all, we didn't know what is ahead of us.

CAVUTO: Right.

BARKAT: So we went out very cautiously to try to figure out what is going on. And then we saw him five yards away from us. So, it wasn't that we knew what we are entering.

Once we entered it, we're in it, and then we had to figure out what the right thing to do is. So the bodyguard did the right thing. Naturally, he follows me. We have been in situations, not that type before, but in situations before. And we have got to get close to the action to figure out how to manage the situation.

CAVUTO: Now, I know Secret Service people here in the United States, Mayor, and they say that the first rule is, you know, get the public figure, in this case it would be you, out of harm's way.

Believe me, I'm not faulting your security guy.


CAVUTO: And you both obviously took care of this about and dealt with it right.

But our knee-jerk reaction is to get the politician or get the public figure, in this case you, out of there.

BARKAT: Well, I understand.

However, when you enter a situation -- look, the residents of Jerusalem are part of me. And when you run into such a situation, the last thing you do is run away. You figure it out. And, look, I was a company commander in the paratroopers. And the DNA we have is to solve the problem.

And, here, I don't think, if we would have thought that there's a larger risk, then we probably would have acted differently. For example, if the terrorist would have tried to continue trying to stab people, we would have killed him on the spot.

The fact that he dropped his knife probably save his life, because we tackled him and we realized that we don't have to kill him to neutralize him. So it's really figuring out and making a judgment call on the spot that we did. And, in retrospect, we would probably do the same if we come into a similar situation in the future.

CAVUTO: This comes at a time we're on heightened alert in this country that our malls might be targets of terrorist attacks.

Any advice for us in this country how we deal with that? I know it's not routine, but certainly more common in your country than our country.

BARKAT: Well, I think it's a combination of being really good with the good guys, invest.

The vast majority of the Arab population in our city are good people that want better quality of life. And we work with them very, very closely to improve quality of life. And on the other hand, be very aggressive with the bad guys.

And if you follow these two basic, simple rules, you get to good results.

CAVUTO: All right.

BARKAT: Similar in international affairs. I think the Iranians are the bad guys. They want nukes. They're very radical and extremist people. Don't trust them. They will not -- they don't have a word, and they're -- if they're willing to send their kids to commit suicide, like the one I saw yesterday...

CAVUTO: So, be vigilant, be vigilant.

BARKAT: ... and to kill...

CAVUTO: All right, Mayor.

BARKAT: Yes. Don't...

CAVUTO: All right, I hear you, sir.


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