Tag Archives: hero

Bayside street to be renamed after man who perished on 9/11


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Talat Hamdani

He died a hero in his mother’s eyes and a potential enemy to his country.

Now the family of Mohammed Salman Hamdani, the Bayside hero found wrongly accused of having ties to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will have his cleared name on a street sign.

“He was a kind, compassionate and humble American. The most important thing to remember about him is his due place in history,” said mother Talat Hamdani, 61. “He gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a 23-year-old NYPD cadet and certified paramedic when he voluntarily and fatally rushed to his nation’s aid 11 years ago.

“We knew he would go. That was him,” said Talat of her first son. “He would help people in the streets if they were in distress. If there was an accident, he would pull over and see if everything was okay.”

But instead of honor, the chemistry major at Queens College died with a tarnished name.

Authorities hunted him, falsely suspecting the Pakistani-American was in league with terrorists until his remains were found scattered in the rubble near the north tower by his medical bag, according to reports.

Now Community Board 11 has voted unanimously to honor the hometown hero by renaming the street sign on 204th Street at 35th Avenue, outside his former Bayside home, after his legacy.

“It was very emotional, listening to [Talat] and her pain,” said district manager Susan Seinfeld. “As a mother myself, I can just feel that. I can’t imagine what she’s gone through. He should be recognized as much as anyone who was on duty. He gave his life to help people.”

About six street signs within the Community Board have been renamed in honor of 9/11 victims, Seinfeld said.

“A street renaming is a very small but appropriate recognition of his bravery,” said Councilmember Dan Halloran. “He entered the twin towers not because he had to but because he chose to dedicate his life to helping people.”

Mohammed Salman is also mentioned in the 2001 Patriot Act as a 9/11 Muslim-American hero.

“We will never know how many lives he saved that day,” Talat said. “My son is priceless. Nothing can bring him back.”

 

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| lguerre@queenscourier.com


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| jlane@queenscourier.com

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Con Ed crew foils robbery


| smosco@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Steve Mosco

A routine gas inspection turned into a harrowing chase as four Con Edison employees rushed to the aid of the victim of a violent purse snatching in Bayside on the night of January 25.

The Con Edison crew — John Kane, John McDonnell, Michael Santeramo and Anthony Farmighetti — were working on a gas line just off Northern Boulevard when they heard the screams of a young woman on 201st Street and 42nd Avenue. When they rushed to the scene, they saw the victim on the ground, bleeding from the mouth.

The crew approached the suspect and that is when the incident escalated. The man pointed a gun at the workers and told them to step back; the suspect then ran off with the crew in hot pursuit. With total disregard for their own personal safety, the four-man team chased the suspect through a neighborhood backyard.

“We heard screaming and saw bags scattered all over the ground,” said Santeramo, 27, a Con Edison worker for five years. “We ran up to her [the victim] and she was bleeding from the mouth.”

McDonnell, 29, said that he and his fellow workers just did what anyone would do in a situation like that — explaining that when someone is in danger, the right thing to do is help the person without thinking twice.

“We ran right there, you know,” said McDonnell, describing scene. “You hear something like that happen and you just run right there. You just go right into mode, you want to help somebody.”

Despite their heroic efforts, the determined crew lost the perpetrator. The workers returned to the victim, a 24-year-old woman, and stayed with her until police responded to the scene.

“She was very grateful that we helped her out and she was very thankful that we stopped the altercation,” Kane said of the woman, whose identity was not released.

After the incident, the crew went back to work and finished their shift. The next day, Santeramo and McDonnell went to work as if nothing happened at all.

“We came in the next day and didn’t think twice about it,” said McDonnell, who has been with Con Edison for seven years. “We were called upstairs and we thought we were in trouble.”

But Con Ed officials, proud of the men’s heroism, simply wanted to thank them and let people know their brave story.

No arrests have been made in the incident, and police describe the suspect as a black male.