A rapper and activist was detained by the NYPD after intervening in an alleged sexual assault he saw on the Q53 bus—and the video of the incident has since gone viral.
In a Facebook post, 21-year-old Moise Morancy explained he was heading home after recording his mixtape when he saw a man he believed to be drunk board the Q53 and say "all types of sexual shit to this little girl" sitting next to him. Morancy says the man, who police later identified as 36-year-old Pablo Levano, began caressing the teenage girl's hand and eventually started rubbing her leg, which is when Morancy intervened. He told PIX11 that at first, none of the other passengers on the bus helped him.
Morancy says he got up and began yelling at Levano, urging him to stop touching the girl. According to the Independent, Morancy saw Levano reach into his pocket, so he began hitting him in the face, knees, and neck. When police arrived on the scene, they removed both Morancy and Levano, who was later charged with forcible touching, from the bus.
"I was so confused and felt criminalized," Morancy wrote on Facebook. After being detained and questioned for a short period of time, Morancy was released by a sergeant at the scene. "To see a black man in a position of power right the wrongs gave me a little bit of hope for the NYPD," Morancy said.
"He said 'You're a hero,' he shook my hand, and said 'I was you 20 years ago,'" Morancy said of the sergeant.
An NYPD spokesperson told Gothamist Morancy was briefly detained but was not charged with anything.