When no one else would step in to help, a homeless man served up his own form of street justice to take a rapist down.

Maurice Osborne was just trying to get his own life together. He was homeless, living in a shelter, and taking courses to become a medical assistant when he potentially saved someone else’s.

Maurice was riding the No. 3 train in Brooklyn, New York when he witnessed the unthinkable — a man attempting to rape a woman on the subway platform.

It was 11:30 on a Wednesday morning. The subway had just come to a stop at Bergen Street station. When the doors opened, Maurice heard a woman screaming.

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“Usually when you’re on the train you hear commotion, you don’t think nothing of it,” Maurice told ABC7 News.

But this time was different. Even though he couldn’t see anything at this point, he knew something was off. The woman just kept screaming.

At the last second, just as the doors were closing, Maurice took action.

How a Homeless Man Became a Hero

He lept from the train and ran towards the sound of the woman’s cries. What he saw shocked him. A man, identified as 40-year-old Alvaro Dennica, was on top of the woman, attempting to rape her.

According to officials, Dennica had been fondling himself in the last subway car before approaching the woman. When she tried to escape, he chased her onto the platform, forcing her to the ground.

And that’s when Maurice came to the woman’s defense.

Maurice charged the assailant, fists flying. “I punched him, hit him a couple of times, a couple of blows,” he said.

He managed to pull the attacker off of the young woman, however, the 6-ft, 200 lb vigilante didn’t stop there. There was no way he was going to allow Dennica to go free and potentially harm someone else. So, he dragged him by the collar, up the subway station’s steps and two blocks down the street to the nearest police precinct.

Dennica was arrested and charged with sexual assault and public lewdness.

If You See Something, Do Something

Even though Maurice had to receive 6 stitches for a bad gash over his eye from headbutting the assailant, he said he would do it again in a heartbeat. What he doesn’t understand, however, is why no one else bothered to come to the woman’s rescue. After all, he wasn’t the only one who witnessed the horrific attack. There were several bystanders who chose to just look away.

“There were a lot of people who didn’t do anything. I was the only one that did something. When you see something like that you’re supposed to help,” Maurice said.

Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Oftentimes, people turn the other way when faced with a dangerous situation, possibly out of fear or an unwillingness to get involved. Luckily for the victim, Maurice wasn’t like the other bystanders. He did do something. And his actions not only saved her from being raped that day, they potentially saved her life.

As for his new-found hero status, Maurice remains humble. He just hopes that people who hear his story will be inspired to do something the next time they see someone in need of help.


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