Adams Honors Four as the “Heroes of the Month

Brooklyn Borough President, Eric L. Adams yesterday honored four young men from across the borough for their bravery and courageous actions against criminals as the Brooklyn Heroes of the Month.

The four were honored were Luis Ruiz and his stepson, Antonio Pina, Ahmed Khalifa and NYPD Detective Steven Franzel.

Ruiz and Pina, a father-son karate duo, from East Williamsburg, rescued a young woman from an attempted rape. Ruiz is a fifth degree black belt, while Pina is a third degree black belt, who also served as an auxiliary police officer with the 90th Precinct for seven years. The victim, Miriam Braverman praised the men for their quick instincts and commitment to helping her in a time of need.

“There is a saying in Judaism, ‘If you save one life, it’s as if you save the entire world,’” said Braverman. “This never made any sense to me until this happened. Both of you two [Ruiz and Pina], you saved my life, everything that I do from that time until the end of my life, the day that I get married, the day that I have my children is because of you. Thank you.”

Khalifa, a 17-year-old Muslim student at Midwood High School, helped arrest the assailant of an Orthodox Jewish woman on the subway. The woman was assaulted by a homeless man while she was reading a book on the train platform and was helped by the teenager as he was on his way back home from work as he waited for the Q train at the Newkirk Avenue station, according to Adams. Ironically, Khalifa is a student of the Karate school run by Ruiz and Pina.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

“He’s a student at the karate school and they didn’t even know it. It goes to show that they are teaching more than a few kicks and punches. They are teaching character and discipline. Ahmed exemplifies Brooklyn and I want to personally thank him because far too many people stand back and watch things happen. They say it’s not their business, but he saw it and made it his business. Ahmed plans to study mechanical-electrical engineering in college where hopefully he will change his mind and become a member of the NYC police department,” said Adams, a former NYPD police officer.

The last honoree of the day, NYPD Detective Steven Franzel, was the lead investigator in an operation, dubbed Rose Garden, that resulted in the apprehension of more than 40 gang members and associates with ties with the Crips gang, including a total of 10 loaded firearms and a significant amount of cocaine and marijuana as well as more than 50 fraudulent credit cards.

“One of the most difficult assignments you can have on the New York City Police Department is undercover investigator. They are out there, for the most part in the public, fighting for the city and doing it everyday. I applaud him [Detective Steven Franzel] for his exemplary leadership and service to the New York City Police Department and to the people of this city, in particular the people of this borough of Brooklyn,” said Adams.

The Heroes of the Month honor started back in 2014 as a way to recognize Brooklyn residents accomplishments and who exemplify the ongoing pursuit of community safety throughout the borough, according to Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna.

“Honoring the accomplishments of people from around the borough has become a tradition and we are proud to honor these individuals, reflecting the diversity of our borough, understanding the depth of our diversity, our bravery, our kindness, the tenacity we have as Brooklynites exists everyday for every individual and in Brooklyn we showcase that. It is important that we continue to fight crime, and fighting crime together is the theme of this of this batch of heroes. Public safety is not something only dependent on our police but that every resident contributes to that effort,” said Reyna.

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