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Army Vet Turned Police Officer Fought Off New York Subway Vagrants Without Pulling Sidearm
The NYPD officer caught on viral video fending off a band of subway vagrants without reaching for his gun has handled himself well under pressure before — he’s a U.S. Army veteran who’s served in Iraq and Afghanistan, police said.
He also made headlines in the past for speaking out against racial profiling after he was detained at Kennedy Airport.
The mayor on Tuesday praised Officer Syed Ali’s “extraordinary professionalism and bravery” during the wild melee viewed more than four million times on Twitter.
Ali’s actions also earned him a citation from Councilman Chaim Deutsch, and the NYPD Muslim Officers Society, of which he’s a member.
“We’d like to commend him for his use of restraint where he made sure that he utilized the minimum (force) necessary,” said Capt. Adeel Rana, the society’s president..”It might have something to do with his military training but the majority of it is him being calm under pressure situations.”
Meanwhile, the police officers’ union blasted the decision by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office not to pursue charges against the five homeless men who attacked the brave cop.
“There’s no telling how much damage these mopes would have done to that courageous police officer had he not been equipped to handle them. Had it gone the other way we might have had a seriously injured or dead police officer instead,” said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
“It’s wrong that they were not charged for attacking him. The District Attorney’s job is to prosecute crimes, not to act like a social advocate.”
Ali, an Army reservist, has been deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan and saw combat during a 2008 deployment to Iraq.
Despite his service, he was detained for hours at JFK for extra screening in April 2017 when he returned home from Istanbul, then threatened with arrest when he asked how long he’d be held, he told the New York Times at the time.
“I feel like my rights were violated,” Ali told the Times shortly after the incident. “Are you telling me that every guy with the last name Ali is a terrorist? Are you telling me every guy with brown skin coming in from overseas is a terrorist?”
Ali was assigned to a solo counter-terrorism post at the East Broadway F train stop in Lower Manhattan Sunday night when a woman approached him and said a group of homeless men were harassing her. He told them to leave and they “approached him aggressively,” police sources said.
Cell phone video captured what happened next — Ali used a baton and his feet to keep the men at bay as they came at him, one by one. One of the men lurched at him and fell onto the tracks, and the officer called MTA officials to cut power to the third rail, then radioed for help.
Police took five homeless men into custody — Oseas Garcia, 32, Juan Munez, 27, Raul Ruiz, 29. Elisoe Alvarez Santos, 36 and Leobardo Alvarado, 31 — at first processing them as intoxicated emotionally disturbed people.
After the fight, one of the men mugged for a camera from his hospital bed, belting out a tune, video obtained by the Daily News shows.
The golden-throated man warbles in what sounds like an attempt to sing a popular tune by Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Ozuna.
He’s all smiles as someone off-camera tries to guide him through the lyrics.
All five returned to the station after their release and cops hit them with local law violations for laying on the subway platform.
Police sources say vagrants often flock to the end of that platform to drink and get high.
“The NYPD is upping its presence at this station and others to ensure officers have the support they need,” de Blasio said in his tweet praising Ali.
©2018 New York Daily News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
An armed suspect was taken into custody at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi on Wednesday morning after a brief lockdown period, according to the Texas base's Facebook account.
Though the exact nature of the incident is unclear, base officials wrote that no shots were fired and no injuries were reported.
All of the military’s forks, knives and spoons will come from the last all-American flatware maker, according to the defense budget
WASHINGTON – A $738 billion defense bill agreed to by House and Senate negotiators Monday night contains a provision that will boost a small Upstate New York company that serves as America's last flatware maker, according to Rep. Anthony Brindisi.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2020 includes Brindisi's amendment requiring the military to buy American-made eating utensils for its installations around the world.
Sherrill Manufacturing in Oneida County is the only U.S. manufacturer that makes and sources 100 percent of its flatware domestically.
KABUL (Reuters) - Suicide bombers struck the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing at least one person and injuring scores in a major attack that could scupper plans to revive peace talks between the United States and the Taliban.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which struck the Bagram air base north of Kabul.
"First, a heavy-duty Mazda vehicle struck the wall of the American base," said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman. "Later several mujahideen equipped with light and heavy weapons were able to attack the American occupiers."
The White House doctor still under investigation for doling out pills like a ‘candy man’ is now running for Congress
Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and retired Navy rear admiral who had a short run as the nominee for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2018, now plans to run for a seat in Congress.