Man Gets Prison Sentence for Triple Stabbing After NYC Subway Seat Dispute

Ronald Cundiff was sentenced for the triple stabbing in summer 2019.

A 43-year-old man who stabbed three people, including a police officer, all after a dispute on a subway train after being asked to remove his bag from a seat a rider could sit down was sentenced to 14 years behind bars, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office announced Friday.

Ronald Cundiff was sentenced after being convicted on Feb. 22 on one count of assault in the first degree, two counts of assault in the second degree, one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and one count of assault in the third degree, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr. said. Cundiff was also sentenced to five years of post-release supervision.

Cundiff's charges and subsequent sentence from an incident that took place on July 30, 2019. According to the district attorney, it was that day at around 7:15 p.m., when a 55-year-old man asked Cundiff to take his bag down from a seat on a downtown A train so he could sit. Allegedly, when Cundiff did not answer, the man picked up his bag and tried to remove it from the seat. Cundiff, subsequently, took out a knife and stabbed the man in his upper torso, piercing his spleen. Cundiff fled the subway at the Canal Street station while the man who was stabbed flagged down NYPD officers.

When the responding officers tried to stop Cundiff at the corner of Bowery and Canal streets, he stabbed one of the officers in the shoulder as well as a good Samaritan who tried to stop him.

Cundiff was arrested at Bowery and Canal Street, and the knife was recovered from the ground a few feet away from him.

The subway rider who was initially attacked had to have his spleen surgically removed due to the stabbing, according to the district attorney's office.

“The subway is the backbone of our city, and we will hold accountable anyone who attacks their fellow straphangers,” Bragg said in a statement. “Not only did Ronald Cundiff stab a rider who was looking for a seat, he also stabbed a good Samaritan and a police officer who tried to stop him. I thank the jury for its service, and the prosecutors who secured this conviction and sentence through their hard work and dedication.”

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