Firefighters Subdue Man Attacking Woman With Meat Cleaver in Chinatown

By Ida Siegal
|  Monday, Feb 25, 2013  |  Updated 9:01 AM EDT
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Firefighters witnessed a man attacking a woman with a meat cleaver on the street Sunday and came to her aid. Ida Siegal reports.

Firefighters witnessed a man attacking a woman with a meat cleaver on the street Sunday and came to her aid. Ida Siegal reports.

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Firefighters in Chinatown subdued a man they witnessed attacking a woman with a meat cleaver on the street Sunday.

According to police, firefighters from the FDNY company known as the Chinatown Dragon Fighters saw the man attacking the woman across the street from their station house on Canal Street and quickly jumped to action to stop the attack.

"I heard a commotion in the street and I look over, it's a man dragging this woman, grabbing her by the arm, dragging her, she's crying and she's screaming," said firefighter Jose Ortiz.

Ortiz rushed over to help the woman, when suddenly he saw the man pull out the meat cleaver.

"I see the cleaver go up and he swings down and he hit her in the head," Ortiz said. "Now I'm thinking I gotta grab this guy."

But before Ortiz could get to him, the man was able to strike the woman with the meat cleaver several times.

Shane Clarke, another firefighter, came to Ortiz's aid and together they were able to stop the attack and subdue the man.

The woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital with cuts to her neck, back and face. Police said her injuries were not considered life-threatening.

The man was taken into police custody.

"I'm happy that we were there to help," Ortiz said. "I'm sorry we weren't there early enough to just stop the whole thing all together."

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