When you think of crimes occurring, you probably think of criminals acting at night in isolated areas. Even if a crime happens in broad daylight, at least the perpetrator carries out the crime where witnesses would not be present to avoid getting caught.
A subway platform in Brooklyn does not seem like a prime location to get away with crime. Surely, there would be too many people to intervene right away, right?
Bystander apathy often leads to individuals taking on less responsibility and turning the other way in the midst of a crime when others are present. If many are witnessing the crime and assumed to be taking action, the question often becomes, ‘Why should I get involved, too?’
Unfortunately, bystander apathy was present one Wednesday morning on the No. 3 train at the Bergen Street station. Everyone seemed to ignore what was tragically taking place right in front of them.
Then, Maurice Osborne heroically intervened. Osborne was 37 years old at the time and had been living at a shelter in Brooklyn.
He was on the subway train when he heard screaming as the doors opened at the Bergen Avenue stop. It was 11:30 a.m. in a public space, but that did not stop 40-year-old Alvaro Denica from sexually assaulting a 28-year-old woman.
Denica had allegedly fondled himself, tried to make contact with the woman in the subway car, and then chased her onto the platform at the stop. She screamed as he forced himself on her.
Osborne was the only person to answer the cries of the woman. Once she explained that the man on top of her was trying to rape her, Osborne punched Denica without even hesitating to get himself involved.
He knew he needed to defend the woman being assaulted even though others, including the conductor, ignored the cries of the woman. The train even left the station after dropping her off with Denica chasing her down to rape her.
Osborne pulled Denica by the shirt to the local police precinct two blocks away. Not only did he stop a rapist, but made sure that justice would be served!
$22,659 has since been raised through donations of people touched by Osborne’s heroism. The proceeds raised went toward paying off Osborne’s student loan debt, the rest of his tuition to become a medical assistant, and other expenses though nothing can repay him for bravely stepping in when nobody else would.