(TMU) – A man in Washington, DC, selflessly opened the doors to his home up to dozens of protesters overnight Tuesday after he claims police officers assaulted and pepper-sprayed a group of over 200 protesters following the start of the overnight curfew in the nation’s capital.
Over eight hours late, just minutes after the 6 a.m. curfew expired, more than 60 hours emerged from the three-story home to cheer and give enthusiastic applause to the home’s owner, Rahul Dubey.
Dubey, a 44-year-old Indian-American who’s lived in DC for 17 years, immediately acted on instinct when he saw the protesters being brutally dispersed as police beat them mercilessly while trying to flee the scene.
Meka, 22, was protesting peacefully that night before he claims police officers walled off both sides of Swann Street in northwest DC, he told Buzzfeed.
It was at that point that police “just started charging” at the group, “pushing and hitting” them while pepper spraying them and preventing them from leaving.
— Ken Duffy (@KenDuffyNews) June 2, 2020
It was at that point that Dubey, barely able to stomach what he was witnessing from his front porch, flung open the doors to his 1,500-square-foot home.
He is now being described as a “hero” and “absolute legend” for the act.
“I flung open the door, and I grabbed the railing and started pushing people into my house,” Dubey told Esquire. “It was like a human tsunami of people that the cops were pushing into my street, and the overflow was coming into my house.
“All I kept on yelling was ‘Get in! Get in!’ I kept saying, ‘Get downstairs! Get upstairs!”
One witness saw the entire scene, and told News4:
“They charged all the way up into this man’s door and maced everybody coming into this house … Thank goodness for us in the house we’re safe, we’re ok. But there’s no way for us to get out of this house and not get arrested.”
Dramatic video and photos from the scene indeed depict MPD officers violently boxing in and beating protesters before arresting many of them for violating the citywide curfew.
Tense situation on Swann Street in DC. Cops surrounded protesters and started firing pepper spray. A resident let more than 100 protesters take shelter in his home. “I’m not letting any of these kids out of my sight,” he told me over the phone. pic.twitter.com/Bk6NOIbAwf
— Derek Hawkins (@D_Hawk) June 2, 2020
THE POLICE BOXED IN A GROUP OF PEACEFUL PROTESTERS AND THEN STARTED HITTING AND MACING PEOPLE. A MAN TOOK SOME OF US INTO HIS HOUSE AND THE POLICE HAVE US TRAPPED. THERE ARE PEOPLE STILL TRAPPED IN THE STREET ON 15th AND SWANN pic.twitter.com/H2B2QCup1o
— Meka (@MekaFromThe703) June 2, 2020
The violence came just after President Donald Trump gave a stark warning to protesters across the country that many perceived as a declaration of war: no longer would he tolerate the unrest, which he described as being provoked by “professional anarchists, violent mobs, or, arsonists, looters, criminals, rider rioters, Antifa and others.” Instead, he would “end the riots and lawlessness” using military force, if necessary.
Trump also announced that he would dispatch massive amounts of armed personnel to Washington, DC, and strictly enforce the 7:00 p.m. curfew declared by the city.
The menacing speech was followed by police gassing a large crowd of peaceful protesters near the White House so that the president could get a now-controversial photo op holding a Bible outside the church.
DC Police Chief Peter Newsham claims that the officers had swarmed the area to enforce the curfew, but he denied that officers used pepper spray, describing it as part of the “misinformation” being spread on social media.
“Officers saw behavior consistent with behavior that preceded the very violent activity two night before when we actually had a Metropolitan Police Department that was set on fire,” Newsham said.
He later told NBC4 Washington that the department would “take a very, very close look to ensure that the police were respectful and responsible, professional and constitutional, in conducting those arrests.”
But Dubey described the scene as more akin to as completely chaotic and something he’d expect in “a hostage situation.”
Speaking to Esquire, he explained:
“They were shooting pepper spray in through the window.
“That was mayhem for about an hour and fifteen minutes, and then as soon as I stepped onto the front porch, [the police] said, ‘Get back in the house, or we’ll put you down,’ and I said, ‘Look, I got a bunch of people in here.’
“They said, ‘Get the fuck back inside.’ I waited about an hour, and I went back out and said, ‘I request to talk to somebody,’ and they said, ‘We told you to get back. Get back or we’ll fucking arrest you,’ so I went back in the house.”
In the meantime, the desperate people who had just narrowly escaped the onslaught were trying to relieve the effects of the pepper spray that police had unloaded on them. According to Dubey, when he went upstairs his new guests were running water in the bathtub so that they could splash some water in their faces.
“It was chaotic … People were screaming, crying, and coughing.”
MPD promised that no one would get arrested if they ordered food for the hungry protesters trapped inside but now cops are refusing to let the driver deliver the food.
Here is the resident of the house who voluntarily took in the protesters negotiating with police for food. pic.twitter.com/2X8iQgztu4
— Alex Taliadoros (@AlexCTaliadoros) June 2, 2020
Police later tried to dupe the protesters by sending plainclothes officer to the front door who urged them to leave through the back alley, where they could safely escape. “I mean, bullshit stuff,” Dubey said. They also kept a pizza delivery guy away from the home for an hour, and sent a cop to respond to a fake 911 call over a supposed medical emergency. It was as if the home was under siege.
At some point, however, “some magic took place,” Dubey said.
Unsurprisingly, especially for a group of about 75 people aged 20 to 50, pizza was a part of the magic.
“I had to do a covert pizza operation,” Dubey said with a laugh.
Thanks to some kind strangers on the internet, Dubey was able to score enough pizza for everyone from his favorite local pie spot, Duccini’s. And as a part of the magic, even the pizza delivery guy played his role.
“I’m delirious, but it’s beautiful,” Dubey said. “It’s absurd that I had to get some stranger to hand me pizza over my back fence through police brigade, but it also shows the human spirit, too, and that’s what this is all about.”
Beyond the sanctuary that Dubey’s home became, however, officers had cornered protesters in a “little square” and were arresting them.
still arresting people outside pic.twitter.com/Gf5ICYptjB
— Meka (@MekaFromThe703) June 2, 2020
Meka, Dubey, and others began to quickly publicize their ordeal on social media. MPD Chief Newsham angrily responded that their information was “completely innacurate.”
Eight hours later, Dubey’s guests were finally free to leave – and they didn’t get arrested on their way home, as they feared.
The event was nerve-wracking, Dubey said. Nevertheless, the group was “an amazing group of people that were gathered here peacefully.”
Rahul saved lives last night. He ended this with an inspirational speech about not giving up and keeping up the peaceful fight. What a guy. Thank you Rahul. #SwannStreet #savejenny pic.twitter.com/e0SETLcSpw
— BLACKLIVESMATTER (@kikivonfreaki) June 2, 2020
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.