Paul addresses the crowd in Hebrew (which makes their ears perk up a little) and tells them his life story. This better be good.
He is a Jew who was born in Tarsus and brought up in a good Jewish home where he learned respect for Jewish law and customs. He's a real mensch.
He tells them how he persecuted Christians himself (who doesn't love a little persecution) until he saw a light that blinded him on the road to Damascus and heard the voice of Jesus himself. Impressed yet, everyone?
Then he explains that Ananias restored his sight and encouraged him to be baptized. God himself warned Paul that the people in Jerusalem weren't gonna take to kindly to the new and improved him, so he sent him to the Gentiles.
When the people hear this, they freak out and start screaming that Paul should be killed. The soldiers decide to take Paul aside and flog him.
But before they can start, Paul points out that he was born a Roman citizen and it's not exactly legal for them to flog him.
The Romans are all freaked out by this. If Paul was born a Roman citizen, then tying him up to flog him is a big no-no.
They release him and order him to appear before the Jewish high priests and council.