September 20, 2016
A tragic event could have occurred this week at a New Jersey train station if not for the actions of two men, one of whom is homeless. Since then, a GoFundMe campaign has raised thousands of dollars to reward the duo and help other homeless people in the area.
On Sunday night, five suspicious devices were discovered in a trash can near the Elizabeth train station. One of the devices exploded as the FBI worked to disarm it, but no injures were reported.
Authorities said a tragedy was prevented thanks to the discovery by a homeless man.
Now, one of those men responsible for alerting authorities is sharing his story.
Lee Harper told NJ.com that he stumbled upon the backpack containing the devices while his friend, Ivan White, was purchasing beer. Harper was unsure about what he had found. Luckily, White was aware of the recent explosions in Manhattan and Seaside Park so the two knew they had to contact authorities.
Authorities eventually linked all the devices to 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was captured by police in Linden on Monday.
That same day, a GoFundMe page was created by Donald Goncalves to reward the men. It reads:
"Had it not been for these heroes, Elizabeth NJ would have experienced a devastating terrorist attack. Thanks to Ivan White and Lee Parker, that explosion did not happen. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
Lee Parker is homeless and Ivan White lives on a fixed income. We are raising money for these two heroes who have done much for our community. A portion of the funds will also go toward the Elizabeth Coalition for the Homeless."
As of Wednesday afternoon, the campaign has far surpassed its goal of $10,000 with more than $15,000.
You can visit the page and donate here.