The story begins here
Maybe I over reacted. But the guy actually had threatened to kill me, and he might be armed, and he actually had played some kind of trick, pretending to commit suicide. So I spun around, grabbing his arm and slamming it as hard as I could into the metal bar of the ladder. At the same time, I punched him in the stomach and then reached to grab his head in preparation for a knee to the groin. That's when he hit me in the chest with an open hand.
I want to be clear about this because it explains why I think the man's story is worth repeating: I'm a weight-lifter. Not exactly a pro, but I can bench press a healthy 295 pounds. I've also practiced several martial arts and I know how and where to punch someone in the gut; I hit the guy's solar plexus square with the top two knuckles of my fist, using my hips for power and keeping my wrist straight. It was a textbook gut buster from a very strong guy and it should have left the rail-thin man helpless on the ground. Instead, I found myself stumbling backward into the fog where I hit the ground in a gasping, flailing lump of surprise and pain. I was certain that my rib cage had been crushed.