A screenshot from the video of the officer fending off attackers in the subway station.
Bizarre video taken on Sunday night in a Lower East Side subway station shows an NYPD officer fending off a group of staggering men with his baton and his feet.
Police say the officer was posted in the East Broadway stop and was responding to a passenger complaint around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday night.
Video shows that three of the men approach the officer, who shouts “Step back! Step back! I don’t want to hurt you!” The men keep coming, and the officer dispatches them with kicks and strikes them with his baton.
Two of the men attempt to hold the attackers back; one ducks underneath and ends up falling onto the tracks when the video ends.
An NYPD spokesperson said that the officer asked for the power to be cut on the tracks while he helped the man out, and that the other four men were taken to Beth Israel and treated for minor injuries before being released without charges.
On Monday morning at around 10:35 a.m., the police returned to the station and say they found all five men in the video. They then charged them with breaking the transit rules for being outstretched in the train station, a violation. The men are all homeless, police say, and range in age from 27 to 36.
The police spokesperson declined to identify the officer. The NYPD Muslim Officers Society identified him as one of their members, who they said was also a “ranking member of the @USArmy.”
Pat Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the largest police union, told the Post that the officer “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.”
An earlier version of the Post’s story on the incident quoted a “high-ranking police official,” who says the officer in the video is “more restrained than I would have been. They would all have been f-ked up.”
Those quotes have been removed.