When dozens of peaceful protesters were confined by law enforcement on the block around Swann Street in Northwest DC on Monday evening, the street turned into a human tsunami. But amid all the chaos, one person stood up in an inspirational act of kindness, opening his heart and home to those who were the most vulnerable.

44-year-old resident Rahul Dubey opened the front door of his house and rushed around 80 strangers inside. The protesters sheltered there until the curfew lifted at 6 AM, but the night was not an easy one. One protester named Allison Lane was reporting on Twitter everything that was happening for hours, which felt like an eternity. While the police were allegedly throwing pepper spray canisters trying to arrest the protesters, Rahul did everything he could to keep everyone safe. “I know in my heart of hearts that you would open the door, too,” the people’s humble hero said. So let’s take a look at how the tense situation unfolded down below.

After Rahul sheltered 80 peaceful protesters at his house, this woman was tweeting live what was happening there

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Bored Panda contacted one of the protesters who preferred to stay anonymous and was present during the incident on the Swann Street. She recounted what happened there: “When I arrived, there was a low police presence compared to what I had seen from images and video taken by the protesters inside the house all night long. The police seemed to have retreated.”

All of the supporters stood outside the house on the sidewalk, talking to the people inside the house through the front windows until they could safely leave at 6 in the morning. “We passed them Pop-Tarts through the mail slot on the front door,” the protester said.

At around 6 AM, Rahul came out to speak to everyone. “There were about 10 supporters and a barrage of media cameras.”

“Supporters helped exchange rides home for all of the protesters and Rahul gave an inspiring speech to the protesters about keeping up the peaceful fight and protecting their mental health.” Everyone recognized that without Rahul’s support, “they’d have been sent to jail that night just for peacefully protesting.”

Here’s the conversation between Rahul and a protester

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Rahul Dubey told NBC Washington that protesters were “decimated and beaten on the steps of my house” as he himself was among the many who got pepper-sprayed. “The crowd came racing through like a tornado,” Dubey said. “We had to keep the door open and keep pulling them in… it’s the same you would do if there’s a storm.” The people who took shelter in his house ranged from 18 to 50 and were “an amazing group of people that were gathered here peacefully,” according to Dubey.

People celebrated Rahul’s bravery in helping the protesters

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Meanwhile, the DC Metropolitan Police Department addressed the Swann Street incident in a press conference on Tuesday. Chief Peter Newsham stated: “We’ll go back and take a very, very close look to ensure that the police were respectful and responsible, professional and constitutional.” When asked if the pepper spray was deployed inside a house, Newsham replied that he will have to review police cameras before answering. But the police officers who worked on the scene told him the pepper spray wasn’t deployed.

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More people shared updates on the tense situation on Swann Street

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According to Buzzfeed News, when the air cleared, the protesters began talking and trying to figure the whole ordeal out. Dubey ordered five or six pizzas for everyone trapped inside, but the police “hijacked” his pizza order and didn’t allow them to reach the front of his house. The boxes were then delivered to the group inside through the fence. “I had to do a covert pizza operation,” Dubey said.

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