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VIDEO: Lone cop, an Army combat vet, fights off drunken vagrants on Manhattan subway platform

New York City subway R46 in Lower Manhattan. (Billy Hathorn/Wikimedia Commons)

A baton-brandishing cop faced off against a small army of aggressive subway vagrants, never pulling his gun — in a viral video that’s been viewed more than a million times on Twitter.

“Stand back! Stand back!” the officer yells as a group of men square off against him on the East Broadway F train stop in Lower Manhattan. One of those who lunged at him fell to the tracks.

The melee started Sunday night while the officer was working solo in a counter-terrorism “Omega” post in the subway station, police said. A woman approached him and said the men were harassing her.

When the officer confronted the vagrants, he found one of them laid out on the platform, intoxicated, police said. The intoxicated man is clearly visible in the Twitter video.

When the cop told the men they needed to leave, the vagrants “approached him aggressively,” a police source said. “He took action and gained control of the situation.”

As someone films from behind the cop, one of the men steps forward. The officer kicked him, sending him lurching to the ground.

“Step back! I don’t want to hurt you!” the officer yells as a second man approaches. He kicked that man down as well. But he got up, and the video shows the officer swinging his baton to hold him off.

As three of the men menacingly walk toward the cop, someone gets in front of them and tries to hold them back. But yet another attacker joins the fray and awkwardly rushes the cop — only to stumble off the platform and onto the tracks after the officer brushes him aside.

The officer tried to prevent him from falling, but couldn’t grab him in time, so he called MTA officials asking to cut power to the tracks, then radioed for assistance, police sources said.

“He handled the situation with incredible restraint using the least possible amount of force to bring it to a close,” a senior NYPD official told the Daily News. “He did a very good job.”

The cop was uninjured, and when backup arrived, police took five men into custody. All were processed as intoxicated emotionally disturbed persons and hospitalized.

Amazingly, all five men returned to the same station after they were discharged, sources said.

Police busted all five — Oseas Garcia, 32, Juan Munez, 27, Raul Ruiz, 29. Elisoe Alvarez Santos, 36 and Leobardo Alvarado, 31, all homeless — on local law violations for lying on the subway platform. Ruiz was also charged with pot possession.

That end of the East Broadway F stop is a magnet for homeless people who often gather to get high, police sources said.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch lauded the officer and blasted Mayor de Blasio’s handling of 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 said. “The officer was responding to a complaint from a woman of harassment by these homeless men at the station. 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. He is to be commended for good work and courage.”


© 2018 New York Daily News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.