Real heroes with hearts of gold.
Within an hour or so of the theft, 68th Precinct Police Officers Matthew Slavin and Yaser Shohatee bought a new wheelchair to replace one that had been stolen from Wu Xu, a partially paralyzed woman, at the corner of 74th Street and Fifth Avenue on Tuesday, April 17.
According to reports, at around 4:45 p.m., Xu got up from the wheelchair with the assistance of her husband. As they were buying apples at a local market, a crook nabbed the chair and took off with it.
A witness saw the theft, called 911 and got the victim a seat so she could wait comfortably for cops to show up. A staffer for State Senator Marty Golden — whose office is nearby — overheard the call, and the victim was brought to Golden’s office while the police canvassed the area in search of the crook and the wheelchair.
Xu, who, with her husband, is visiting from China, explained through translator Katie Wong, who works for Golden, that she had recently suffered a stroke, which had resulted in the partial paralysis.
The couple is staying with their son in Bay Ridge. He had bought her the wheelchair only five days prior to the theft.
Around an hour later, the two officers — who were unsuccessful in their efforts to locate the perp or the wheelchair — arrived at Golden’s office with a wheelchair that they had purchased with their own money.
A police report was taken and the case has been referred to the Detective Squad.
Golden will be presenting the officers with official recognition from the State Senate next week.
“I want to commend this extraordinary act of human compassion exhibited by 68th Precinct Officers Slavin and Shohatee, which cannot go unrecognized,” said Golden. “Thank you to these officers for serving the 68th Precinct and for truly showing concern for those they serve and protect. These heroes went above and beyond the call of duty, and on behalf of a grateful community, I want to say thank you.”