Four police officers who are credited with stopping a suspected subway bomber in Times Square played a different kind of hero on Saturday -- by handing out Christmas presents to kids in Newark.
It was the first public appearance of the officers -- Anthony Manfredini, Jack Collins, Sean Gallagher and Drew Preston -- since police say a 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant tried to set off a bomb strapped to his body on Monday.
The Port Authority police officers are credited with jumping on Akayed Ullah as he reached for his cellphone, potentially saving lives by preventing the rest of the bomb from detonating.
On Saturday the officers joined others from the Port Authority and New Jersey State Troopers unions to hand out toys to 200 children who gathered at the National Action Network Newark Tech World School.
"I think they're here to protect us," said Alquahim Diggs of Newark. "I think we're gonna have a good time (and) make sure nothing bad happens to us."
Mother Candace John said the event meant her children would have a Christmas.
"I grew up poor and I don't want them to have the same life I had," John said.
Organizers said the event was a special chance to do more than just spread Christmas cheer.
"These kids in these communities need to know that police are their friends, troopers are your friends," Paul Nunziato, of the Port Authority PBA union, said.
The officers didn't discuss the bombing at the request of federal prosecutors.