An NYPD officer who survived tours in Iraq and Afghanistan is being hailed as a hero after taking on five aggressive vagrants who were allegedly harassing a woman in a Manhattan subway station.
Officer Syed Ali was working at NYPD Transit Task Force HQ in Brooklyn on Christmas Day when he was given a commemorative plaque for his brave actions that took place on Sunday night, when he single-handedly held off five individuals with a baton in claustrophobically close quarters.
An Army veteran who saw combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ali had no qualms going in alone when a woman complained that the men -many of whom were allegedly under the influence- harassed her.
The five suspects were seen on camera as they mobbed Ali, who through several swift kicks, swings of his baton and great risk to self, managed to keep the belligerent bums at bay until the crowd dispersed.
According to the New York Post, the five men were arrested the next day on charges of sleeping in the station, though the Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute them when they appeared in court Monday night.
Outraged by the fact that the men were not charged, NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch released a statement, criticizing the NY legal system for being too soft.
“These men chose to drink to excess and then to attack a police officer like a pack of jackals when given a lawful order to move on. They should be held accountable for their actions,” Lynch said. “There is no telling how much damage these mopes would have done to that courageous police officer had he not been equipped to handle them.”
The PBA president’s sentiment was echoed by locals, who say the transit stations are overrun with aggressive, drunken men with nowhere to go.
“You feel scared because you don’t know what their intentions are,” said Jackie Hurd, a former city employee. “The other day I was going to see ‘Mary Poppins’ and a guy started kissing at me. I started yelling at him and he just laughed.”
Another resident was amazed that Ali didn’t shoot the men, despite it being a viable option.
“It was four or five guys,” local Marvin James said. “I guess he was feeling the Christmas spirit. He stood his ground and no one got hurt. It was a wonderful thing.”
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