NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A police officer in Manhattan is being praised for his heroic efforts fighting off a drunken mob that was reportedly harassing a woman in the subway on Sunday.
In a shocking video shared on social media, Police Officer Syed Ali was seen holding off five homeless with his baton after they began acting aggressively in the East Broadway Subway station.
According to authorities, a woman waiting for the train around 10:30 p.m. was being harassed by the vagrants and went to find a police officer.
When Ali returned to clear the group out, the men were caught on video trying to surround the officer. As Ali’s attackers continued to charge at him, one of the drunken men fell onto the subway.
Ali was alert enough to call to have trains in the area stopped fending off the rest of the group. All five were arrested and taken for psychological evaluation.
Despite what was seen in the video, the Manhattan district attorney’s office has not charged the aggressive mob with attacking Officer Ali.
Police officials are slamming the district attorney’s decision. The head of the police officer’s union called the move another example of the DA’s attempt to “decriminalize criminal behavior in the subways.”
“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,” PBA president Patrick Lynch said Tuesday.
Former NYPD police commissioner Bill Bratton also weighed in on the incident via Twitter. Bratton warned that the incident was a sign that failure to enforce quality-of-life offenses, especially in the subways, would bring back the high crime level of the 1970s and 80s.
The five men were later charged with a minor offense for sleeping in the subway.
Mayor de Blasio chimed in on the disturbing video, two days later, to add that attacks on the city’s police won’t be tolerated. De Blasio announced that police patrols around subway stations would be increased to ensure public safety.