Victim Saved Thanks to Girlfriend’s Pepper Spray – NBC New York

A subway rider is hailing is girlfriend as a hero who saved his life after he was stabbed by a man armed with a kitchen knife in midtown Manhattan.

The couple were on their way home to the Bronx after going to a comedy show in the city Wednesday night. The Pelham Parkway stop was their final destination — but they never got there, because of the man who attacked the 26-year-old.

After getting on the uptown 2 train at Fulton Street, they made their way up to 42nd Street where a man boarded and immediately got into the personal space of the victim’s girlfriend, who was seated at the time.

Tracie Strahan reports on the latest attack in the NYC subway system.

“She was approached by someone at one of the train stops, and he like violated her space immediately,” said the victim, named Sammi. “So I took the pole that was in between him and her and I just put my hand there. “

That’s when the situation quickly turned violent, as Sammi said he was immediately sucker-punched by the man, getting hit in his right eye. He said he tried to deescalate the situation, but his attacker “started provoking me. He wanted to get into a physical fight.”

Sammi again told the man to give his girlfriend some space, and that’d be the end of it. But that’s when the suspect took out a knife.

“He walked away from me, in front of everyone else, and started unwrapping the knife — like this is going to be some sort of show,” Sammi told NBC New York. “It was like a kitchen knife. He was unwrapping it and saying ‘Oh we are gonna play this game.'”

The attacker left another rider injured after clobbering him on the head with a sword in a wooden sheath, according to police. NBC New York’s Myles Miller reports.

The couple decided it would be best to get off at the next stop, at 72nd Street. As the attacker got closer to the pair, Sammi said he tried to kick him away, which is how he got stabbed in the leg. He got his finger cut as well.

As the suspect was getting ready to continue his violent assault, Sammi’s girlfriend got out her pepper spray and used it on him. The attacker fled at the station immediately afterward.

“You have to be ready to defend yourself and defend other people if you can,” said Sammi’s girlfriend, who did not wish to be identified. “It’s is extremely, extremely important that women in particular are ready to defend themselves because it seems like it’s absolutely necessary, and things are really bad out there.”

If it weren’t for his girlfriend’s actions, Sammi doesn’t think he would have lived to tell the tale.

“I probably would have died there because he didn’t show any signs of stopping,” he said. “She’s a hero, she literally saved my life. I was just trying to protect someone that I care about, and she is a very intelligent woman and she knows New York better than I do, and she was prepared for the situation…My girlfriend is a hero!”

Police are still looking for the attacker. Sammi and his girlfriend are recovering, and said they are very thankful to the New Yorkers who rushed to help them — including one woman who used her scarf as a tourniquet to help with the stab wound to Sammi’s leg .

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

The scary incident marked just another example of the escalating violence in New York City’s transit system that has set the city on edge.

The NYPD has a number of open investigations into recent subway crimes. Earlier this week, a 48-year-old Queens man died after falling to the tracks in Jackson Heights amid an argument over a dropped cellphone with another straphanger, authorities have said. A 50-year-old man has been arrested.

That death marked the ninth in the subway system in 2022 and the fifth in the past two weeks.

On Friday, a teen was shot and killed on a moving train in Far Rockaway. Three people have died since Sept. 30 in stabbings, two in subway attacks and a third on a city bus.

Just over the weekend, a man was shoved onto the tracks of a Bronx subway station in what police have called an unprovoked attack. Video released the next day showed the moment the unidentified attacker come up to the man and push him down to the roadbed shortly before the arrival of a 6 train. That man survived thanks to good Samaritans.

The MTA recently asked NYPD officers to position themselves in the middle of a platform in an effort to reassure passengers the transit system is safe. As for the death earlier this week, officials said it could have been prevented.

“The cellphone that fell into a pit. My God — please de-escalate situations. We can get your phones, your personal effects, we do it all the time,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey.

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