Etiquette teacher fights off ‘ninja’ purse-snatcher in New York

Ahsan raza
3 min readOct 1, 2020

It’s not polite to take a woman’s purse — and if she kicks your butt, you’d better say “thank you.”

A mom and well-known etiquette teacher said she taught an alleged mugger some manners on the streets of New York after the man tried to snatch her purse while wearing a ninja costume.

Myka Meier, 38, says the man attacked her on Monday morning while she was walking with her three-year-old daughter, Valentina.

The man crept up behind her and tried for her purse, but she screamed and whirled around to fight him off, the New York Daily News reports.

“It felt like he came out of nowhere,” Meier told the paper.

Meier says she used some of the kickboxing moves she learned from a class to effectively kick the attacker’s behind.

“I just started kicking,” she said. “I think he was shocked that I fought back.

“I was more aggressive than he intended, but I train for this stuff. I leave my manners classes and I go kickbox.”

She added in a separate interview with Today Parents that she probably should have given up the bag, but she “went into self-defence mode.”

“All I knew in that moment was that I needed to protect myself,” she said.

Two construction workers and a doorman intervened to help when they heard the commotion, Meier says.

A photo captured by the doorman shows the alleged mugger in a black tunic and tight pants, with red ribbons wrapped around his calves and a red bandana around his head. The doorman provided the photo to the New York Daily News.

Casique Roman, 41, of Hackensack, N.J., was arrested and charged with robbery in connection with the incident, according to police.

Authorities did not say why the suspect might have been wearing a ninja costume. However, he has been arrested several times in recent years for criminal mischief and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to reports.

Valentina Meier described her mom as “Elastigirl,” a hero from Pixar’s The Incredibles, according to Today.

“She’s like, ‘My mommy is strong.’ And that’s pretty cool,” Meier said.

Meier shared the Daily News story on her Instagram page, where she joked that she will be adding “ninja defence” to her resume.

“I’m so glad you’re OK!” food blogger Molly Yeh wrote in response. “I would sign up for a kickboxing class/etiquette hybrid. Just sayin’.”

She also shares etiquette and style tips through her YouTube channel.

Her latest video, which was posted on Wednesday, explains how to tie a scarf.

It’s unknown whether she has any “how to kick a ninja” explainers in the works — but after Monday’s incident, it might be the polite thing to share with her followers.

Meier said she suffered a few bumps and bruises from the incident, but doctors otherwise gave her a clean bill of health.

“When I went for X-rays, everyone thought it was interesting that I teach etiquette classes,” Meier said.

“But I say this all the time: ‘Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.’”