New York, NY – A lone New York police officer managed to fight off a violent crowd of vagrants during a hostile encounter at a subway station (video below).
“That was a pretty intense situation,” a department spokesperson told Blue Lives Matter on Monday.
The incident occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, as the officer was working alone at a counter-terrorism post on the East Broadway F train stop, the New York Daily News reported.
“The officer was responding to a complaint from a woman of harassment by these homeless men at the station," Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Pat Lynch told the New York Post.
When the officer asked the men to leave, they refused and became "combative," NYPD Sergeant Jessica McRorie told Blue Lives Matter.
The video, which was recorded by someone standing behind the officer, showed the men as they “approached him aggressively,” a police source told the New York Daily News.
“He took action and gained control of the situation,” the source noted.
“Stand back! Stand back!” the officer ordered, as he held his expandable baton at the ready.
One of the men ignored the officer, and charged towards him, the video showed.
The officer raised his right leg, kicking the would-be attacker backwards, and knocked him to the ground.
“I don’t want to hurt you!” the officer warned, as another assailant rounded the corner and marched towards him.
A quick kick sent that man sailing backwards, and he nearly landed on top of the first suspect before he regained his footing and charged towards the officer again.
He then took a swing at the officer, who swiped at him with the baton.
“Step back,” the officer repeatedly ordered.
Two men stepped between the vagrants and the officer, but one suspects ducked beneath the human blockade and came at the officer yet again.
“Back up!” the officer ordered, as the man tumbled backwards and fell onto the tracks.
The officer was able to request backup, and also asked that the power to the tracks be disabled, Sgt. McRorie told Blue Lives Matter.
Additional officers soon arrived at the scene, and took four of the suspects into custody.
The men were all allegedly intoxicated and emotionally disturbed, and were transported to a local hospital, the New York Daily News reported.
The fifth man was removed from the tracks, and the power was restored, Sgt. McRorie told Blue Lives Matter.
The officer was uninjured during the encounter, according to the New York Daily News.
The suspects were later released from Beth Israel hospital, and subsequently returned to the East Broadway Subway station, Sgt. McRorie told Blue Lives Matter.
Police arrested the men at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Monday.
Oseas Garcia, 32, Juan Nunez, 27, Raul Ruiz, 29, Eliseo Alvarez Santos, 36, and Leobardo Alvarado, 31, were all charged for a single local law violation of being outstretched in the station, Sgt. McRorie said.
It was unclear whether or not the men might also face additional charges in connection with the attack on the officer the night prior.
“He used textbook defensive measures taught in the police academy against overwhelming odds in an effort to protect himself and anyone else on the platform,” Lynch told the New York Daily News. “He is to be commended for good work and courage.”
Lynch also blasted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for failing to address issues regarding the city’s homeless population.
“Once again, in de Blasio’s New York, we see a police officer having to rectify a problem allowed to fester by the inaction of this administration,” Lynch railed.
According to a high-ranking NYPD official, vagrants often congregate in the area and “stand out in the back of the platform and get high,” the New York Post reported.
“He’s more restrained than I would have been,” the police official said of the officer seen in the now-viral video. “They would all have been f--ked up.”
You can watch the lone officer’s encounter with the hostile crowd in the video below: