Twenty-one-year-old rapper and activist Moise Morancy was riding the Q53 bus home when he noticed another passenger forcing sexual advances on a teenage girl. He intervened, confronting the man directly, and prevented the him from doing further harm. But when the NYPD arrived on the scene, Morancy was detained along with the girl’s assailant.
According to Gothamist, Morancy had just wrapped up his mixtape recording when he caught the Q53. It was then that he noticed 36-year-old Pablo Levano issuing unwanted caresses to a female teenage passenger. On his Facebook page, Morancy details the encounter. Emphasis via the writer:
“So I’m on my way home from the studio finalizing my debut mixtape, Chronicles of a Ghetto Rose, and I’m sitting at the back of the bus when this drunk guy gets on, saying all types of sexual shit to this little girl sitting next to me. At first he started caressing her hand, and I saw how uncomfortable it made her...so she let go and put her hands in her pocket. He then proceeded to forcibly do it again. In the process of doing so, he hit my knee, and I told him, ‘Yo, bro. Don’t touch me.’ Then he started getting aggressive and saying, ‘I can do whatever I want, you BLACK PIECE OF SHIT!’ I was so upset that I kept to myself after because I didn’t want the problem to escalate. Out of nowhere, he had the audacity to start feeling on this 15-YEAR-OLD girl’s leg. And no one said anything. So I yelled at him so loud that the bus stopped and everyone stared. I said, ‘Yo, my nigga! Don’t fucking touch her again! You heard? Cuz if you do, we gon’ [have] problems!’ He replied, ‘I’m a real nigga, so try me.’ Instantaneously he reached for his pocket and lunged at me. So I had to defend myself...I told the people on the bus to record and help me restrain him, but no one stepped up...until this brave brother Odeh Hammoudeh lent me a hand.
The police eventually came, but started arresting me as well. I was so confused and felt criminalized. Why is this happening to me? I was told that no matter what the circumstances were, I still assaulted him.”
Morancy struck Levano in the face, knees, and neck as a means of self-defense. And though he was detained, after answering questions about the incident, a sergeant released him at the scene. Levano, on the other hand, has been charged with forcible touching.
“Shortly after this black police officer who was the sergeant opened the door, congratulated me, and ordered to release the handcuffs,” Morancy explains. “To see a black man in a position of power right the wrongs gave me a little bit of hope for the NYPD.”
Morancy has been subjected to racial profiling before, so he was relieved to—ultimately—be treated fairly at the hands of the police.
“I forget [the sergeant’s] name, but I want to say ‘thank you,’” Morancy told PIX11. “He said, ‘You’re a hero,’ and shook my hand and said, ‘I was you 20 years ago’...[T]hat touched me.”