Subway passenger stabbed in argument on Upper West Side 2 train
By JOHN DIAS, Alecia Reid
New York, New York (WCBS) – Police are looking for the suspect behind a stabbing on the subway late Wednesday night.
It happened around 11 p.m. on a northbound 2 train on the Upper West Side.
Sammi Tovar and his girlfriend were heading home to the Bronx after a night out.
“He hit me right away,” Tovar told CBS2’s Alecia Reid.
Tovar says before the subway doors closed at 42nd Street, the suspect walked in and walked over to his girlfriend.
“He approached her aggressively and violated her space,” he said.
The 26-year-old says the moment he tried to come between the two he was punched in the face and it didn’t stop there.
“He pulled out a rag that was wrapping something up and it was like showing it to everyone and it was like untangling it, and it was a big kitchen knife,” Tovar said.
The knife nicked his finger and hit a blood vessel in his left leg. That’s when his girlfriend intervened with pepper spray.
“She sprayed it between her eyes, really good shot. he was rubbing his eyes and then he left… I wouldn’t be here talking to anyone if it wasn’t for her,” Tovar said. “Pepper spray beat a knife.”
The pepper spray his girlfriend says she carries with her constantly for protection around town.
“Even if nothing happens to you, you see there’s a level of aggression bubbling under the surface all the time, and it doesn’t take much to break that down, like last night,” Tovar said. .
Tovar says that once the train arrived at the 72nd Street station, good Samaritans helped tourniquet his leg until EMS arrived and rushed him to the hospital, where he received treatment and stitches.
He is expected to make a full recovery within the next six months.
The incident left other runners nervous.
“I sometimes work night shifts too, so I take the train in the middle of the night,” one man told CBS2’s John Dias. “I sometimes see incredible things.”
“The fact that this woman found it in her is going to break a fight…I have so much admiration and respect for her,” rider Dana Steiner said.
While some crimes, like shootings, have been down since this time last year, crime in transit is up about 41% with about 530 more cases, according to the latest NYPD data.
“Since the pandemic, it’s been a little crazier than normal on the subway,” said driver Rebekah Tokatlilar.
Do New Yorkers think it’s the mayor’s fault for rising transit crime? Depends on who you ask.
“I feel like our mayor isn’t doing enough and I feel like we need more cops in transit. Not just standing here watching people, they need to be down there,” said rider Zina Zegans.
“I think he’s doing his best in the situation he’s been given. It’s tough, he’s got a tough job. New York is a tough city,” driver Peter Shaw said.
The city is working to install surveillance cameras on every subway car as part of a new security initiative. It is not known if they were installed on this train.
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