When Clarkstown resident Brian Moran got to work at his Nyack bar on Tuesday, he couldn't believe what had just happened to him.
As Moran, of New City, was driving along Main Street at about 3:30 p.m., he spotted an Orangetown police officer in trouble - fighting off two teenagers who had turned on him. Moran pulled his car over, jumped out and grabbed one of the teens so the town officer could get control of the other teen.
"It all happened just like that," said Moran, a 39-year-old former Nyack resident who is a partner in two village businesses, Bourbon Street and JohnnyCakes restaurant, just a couple blocks apart from each other on Main Street.
Orangetown police said the quick action by Moran helped the town officer recover the edge over the two teens and get them both into custody. The teens, 16 and 17, both from Haverstraw, were hit with charges including attempted robbery, assault and resisting arrest.
The confrontation, according to police stemmed from a fare dispute with a cab driver. The driver flagged down the town officer, telling him that he was having an argument with the teens over their fare. In the dispute, police said one of the teens kicked a door, damaging the cab, and then ran off.
Police said the town officer went after the teen who ran away, and caught up with him. However, police said the teen began to violently struggle with the officer and the second teen then jumped on the officer's back and started punching the officer.
Moran, who when first interviewed by Patch was reluctant to be identified, said that as he was driving east on Main Street just before Franklin Street he could see the confrontation escalate.
"I couldn't believe what was happening right in front of me," said Moran.
Moran said there were several other people nearby, but he was the only one who had come to the town officer's assistance. As soon as the officer had the teens in custody, Moran said he got back into his car and went back on his way to work at Bourbon Street.
As a result of the incident, the town officer was taken to Nyack Hospital for treatment of neck, back, hand and knee injuries. He was later released from the hospital and is expected to see doctors again over the weekend to determine whether he's able to go back to work.
When Moran got to Bourbon Street, he said it took him some time to get over the incident, which he said surprised him. As a Nyack bar owner, Moran said he has seen confrontations between police and late-night patrons of the downtown scene and they don't surprise him. But to see such a violent incident during the middle of the afternoon was new to him.
Although Moran put himself in the middle of a violent confrontation, Moran said the sight of the Orangetown officer in trouble reminded him of his own brother, a New York City firefighter, and his cousin, who is a Clarkstown police officer.
"The Orangetown Police do a phenominal job for the people of Nyack," said Moran. "As a bar owner, I also depend upon them to help us, too, when there is a problem."
The timing of the incident and Moran's assistance to the town officer did not go unnoticed to Orangetown Police. Just four days earlier, Orangetown police were at his bar business — and it wasn't a social call.
Orangetown police, along with the State Liquor Authority and the Rockland County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children conducted an undercover spot check. Bourbon Street and two other Nyack bars were cited for illegally serving alcohol to an underage customer.
Bringing the subject up himself, Moran said he was disappointed that a problem was found at his bar. He said the next day, the employee who was involved with the Friday night incident was fired.
"I don't want underage business," said Moran, explaining he did not hold any grudge against town police for doing their job Friday night. "I don't need that kind of business. It's not good for me."
Moran said he works hard to ensure Bourbon Street conducts business legally and that the bar is a safe place. He noted that he has six "bouncers" who provide security at the business — which is one of a series of bars within just a few blocks on Nyack's Main Street.
While Moran is partner in Bourbon Street and the JohnnyCakes restaurant, he's also a crane operator in New York City, where he is a member of the operating engineers union.
Editor's note: Because of the violent nature of Tuesday's incident, Moran asked not to be photographed or interviewed on video.