Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams honored Brooklyn’s latest “Heroes of the Month” at a ceremony in the Rotunda of Brooklyn Borough Hall.
He recognized two men – one a civilian, the other a state trooper – who saved a suicidal man from jumping off the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, an MTA Conductor who rescued a 13-year old autistic child from the tracks, and a 10-year old boy who founded an online thrift store that sells children’s clothing to online parents.
“Our Heroes of the Month showcase the best our borough and our city has to offer,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “These individuals stepped up when their community needed them most, setting an example for their peers while never seeking credit for their contributions. We are proud to have them representing Brooklyn, and look forward to seeing what they accomplish in the future.”
For the month of March, Borough President Adams recognized Jacob Abraham and State Trooper Joshua Kaye, who saved a 79-year old man who was about to jump off the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Abraham approached the man and asked him what he was doing. When he heard the response, “I’m going to jump,” Abraham replied, “No you won’t!” and grabbed the man by his belt and his shirt and held on to him.
A New York State Trooper, Officer Joshua Kaye, happened to be passing by on the bridge and thought he was approaching a disabled car. After hearing Abraham screaming for help, he stopped and came to assist with the would-be jumper. Both held on to the man, who was resisting. NYPD quickly came on the scene, and with their help and that of another Good Samaritan, all were able to lift the disturbed man to safety. Notes in the distraught man’s car gave all appearances that this was a planned suicide attempt.
Because of the heroic and quick thinking of Jacob Abraham and State Trooper Joshua Kaye, the man was kept from harm and transported safely to a nearby hospital.
For April, Borough President Adams honored Hopeton Kiffin, a subway conductor who rescued a 13-year old autistic boy who was wandering on the tracks. On Thursday, April 4th, express train operator Hopeton Kiffin spotted a 13- year-old boy standing by the third rail between local and express tracks, just past the Hoyt Street 2/3 local station in Brooklyn. The boy, on his way to school, had climbed down to the roadbed and was standing precariously near a third rail.
Conductor Kiffin, whose train was going about 15 mph, stopped his train when he saw the flash of a red jacket on the tracks. After he saw a commuter on the platform pointing towards the tracks, Kiffin left his train, climbed down onto the tracks and helped the 6th grader, who was suffering from depression, aboard his own No. 5 train. The youth was taken to the next stop, which happened to be here at Brooklyn Borough Hall, where police helped reunite him with his family. Said Conductor Kiffin: “I have an eight-year-old daughter, and I was just trying to be calm. What I’ve learned is that passengers feed off our emotions. If they sense you’re calm, they will remain calm. Being calm makes them calm.”
For May, Borough President Adams recognized Obocho Peters, a young entrepreneur who founded I Am Obocho, an online thrift store that sells children’s clothing to low-income parents. The inspiration for his enterprise came when his mom couldn’t afford to buy new toys. He suggested that he sell the clothes and shoes that he was no longer wearing to raise the funds for the toys he wanted. He also knew that he and his mom were not alone. “If it’s a challenge for my mom to pay the rent, take care of me, and take care of herself at the same time, I know it’s a challenge for other families too.” asked his mother to build him a website, titled “I Am Obocho.” He also proactively took small business classes at CAMBA to help him gain business expertise.
Initially, OH-BO-CHO was afraid that he wouldn’t get support from his East Flatbush community because of his young age. But a community business, Bargain Land, took a chance on the young man and helped him in developing two store ads, his first commercial, and sponsored a meet-and-greet that gave him a platform from which to share his vision and his mission with the community.
“As a member of the New York State Police, we take an oath to serve and protect and Trooper Kaye did just that on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge that day. You never know what the day will bring in law enforcement, but we are grateful that Trooper Kaye, the NYPD officers, and Good Samaritan were in the right place at the right time. Trooper Kaye risked his safety to help someone in need. We are proud of his actions and proud to have him as a member of Troop NYC,” said Troop NYC Troop Commander, Major Paul Hogan.
“Hopeton Kiffin’s bravery, sound judgment, and patience prevented a tragedy in an extremely stressful and dangerous situation. His exemplary actions in this incident epitomize the highest professional standards for our employees. We’re very proud of Mr. Kiffin and everyone who worked together for the safety and welfare of the child,” said Andy Byford, President of New York City Transit.
“I am honored to be chosen as May’s Hero of the Month. Being a part of this ceremony shows me that I CAN help families see a brighter future for their children. Receiving this award motivates me to stay focused on my mission. My name Obocho means “I Am Love” and I want to continue to share my Love with the community,” said Obocho Peters, Founder of I Am Obocho.