Muslim immigrant NYPD Officer puts his life at risk to save fellow Americans.
Times Square is one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the world. It is also one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world. Last Wednesday, NYPD sergeant Hameed Armani had his patrol van parked in Times Square. His partner, Officer Peter Cybulski, was also with him in the van.
Times Square was filled with locals, and tourists, as usual. The two police officers were talking, and suddenly a golden-colored SUV pulled alongside their van. The driver of the van tossed what looked like a bomb into the van, and raced away. The device had a clicking sound coming from it, and it had a flashing red light. Officer Cybulski concluded it was a bomb. Both the police officers knew they would die if they remain in the van any longer. However, they refused to leave the van and jeopardize the lives of hundreds of people in Times Square. They decided to drive the van to a less crowded area.
Sergeant Armani drove the van a block away from the area and parked it in a place where there were only a few people. The police officers then removed the device from the van and placed it on the sidewalk. Authorities later determined that the device, a cylindrical object containing flashing lights, a candle, and an electrical component, was not a bomb.
The next day, July 21, police arrested the man in the golden-colored SUV, after a standoff in Columbus Circle. He was identified as Hector Meneses, a 52-year old cab driver, a sane person without any criminal record. According to the police, they are are still unclear what motivated Meneses to perpetrate the act.
During a press conference on Thursday, Bill Bratton, New York City Police Commissioner, called Armani and Cybulski, heroes of NYPD, and heroes of New York City. He said that they put their lives at risk to potentially save hundreds of lives.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 21, 2016
— noahharlan (@noahharlan) July 21, 2016
Sergeant Armani is a Muslim immigrant from Afghanistan. He immigrated to the United States to become a police officer and to provide a better life for his daughter. Armani said one thing that kept crossing his mind during the whole ordeal was his 12-year old daughter and his promise he makes to her home every day, “Dad, promise you’re gonna come home.”
Sergeant Armani, who has been a police officer for the past 10 years, is one of the 1,000 members of the NYPD Muslim Officers Society. The society, on the same day, posted on Facebook to inform Donald Trump about the heroic efforts of Armani.