February 8, 2017
While Ahmed Khalifa was transiting via the southbound Q-train in Brooklyn, he witnessed 31-year-old Rayvon Jones slap a 56-year-old woman (who happens to be an Orthodox Jew) across the face. According to the Daily News, the attack seemed unprovoked, as the woman had simply been reading a book. The impact was so strong that it broke the woman’s glasses and drew blood from the side of her face.
As the woman fell unconscious, passengers rushed to assist her. Khalifa, however, kept his eyes on the tall man who had struck her. He recalled:
“It was a very hard slap, I almost could feel the slap. He was 6-foot-6, and a very big, big guy.”
The 17-year-old Muslim teen told the conductor to call for help and immediately gave chase to the assailant as he departed from the train. When he lost sight of Rayvon, Khalifa unsuccessfully tried to flag down a police cruiser. He did catch the attention of an Orthodox passerby in his car, however, and received the assistance he needed.
Together, they tracked down Rayvon and found him at a bus stop. They then alerted police to his location. Once Rayvon boarded the vehicle, police descended on the bus. He didn’t go without a fight but was eventually placed in custody.
It’s important to note that the teenager didn’t discriminate against the woman because she has a different faith than himself. His main intent was to seek justice for her, and that he did.
“Some people are like ‘she’s Jewish, why did you help her,’ ” said Ahmed. “I’m like everyone is equal. I treat everyone the same way.”
To thank the high school student for his activism, Assemblyman Dov Hikin honored Khalifa with a legislative citation and a laptop one week later.
Watch the video below: