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VIDEO: Lone NYPD cop praised for restraint while fending off group of homeless vagrants: 'I don't want to hurt you!'


It could have been much worse

Image source: WNBC-TV video screenshot

A New York City police officer received high praise for his actions when a group of apparently drunk, homeless vagrants attacked him in a city subway station.

What are the details of the incident?

The incident took place Sunday night when a group of men began harassing a woman in the subway in a menacing way.

In the video, the officer — who was working alone — approached the group of staggering men with his baton.

The officer — later identified as Syed Ali — warned the men to back off and to leave the station, but several of them insisted on moving forward with apparent intent to fight Ali.

"Stand back!" Ali can be heard saying on the video. "I don't want to hurt you!"

Ali kicked at one of the men in the group, who was advancing Ali with his fists raised, knocking him off his balance. A second man attempted to rush Ali, but the man ended up falling on the subway tracks.

According to WNBC-TV, Ali requested backup and shut the subway tracks' power down so Ali and other officers could help the man off the tracks.

The man on the tracks and four other individuals were taken into custody in connection with the incident.

Brooklyn Councilman Chaim Deutsch and Mayor Bill de Blasio praised Ali's actions and restraint.

Deutsch said that Ali was to be lauded for his "quick action to defend civilians and himself against five individuals attacking him on a subway platform," and praised Ali's restraint for not pulling his service weapon on the group.

De Blasio tweeted, "What extraordinary professionalism and bravery by NYPD Officer Syed Ali. Attacking our men and women in uniform won't ever be tolerated. The NYPD is upping its presence at this station and others to ensure officers have the support they need."

At the time of this writing, the video has been viewed more than 700,000 times.

Anything else?

Officers arrived to the same location Monday and found the same group of men there once again.

The men were taken into custody a second time, according to the station, in "local law violation of being outstretched in the station."

The local district attorney reportedly declined to prosecute the case, however.

Patrick Lynch, president for the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, told the station that the organization is disappointed that the district attorney has refused to prosecute the case.

"Had it gone the other way, we might have had a seriously injured or dead police officer instead," Lynch said in a statement. "It's wrong that they were not charged for attacking him."

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