The man who randomly stabbed a woman buying a MetroCard at an Upper West Side subway station last week has been arrested.
Police say transit officers spotted the suspect while on patrol in Manhattan and 40-year-old Shamel James was taken into custody on Tuesday. James allegedly got on the northbound 1/2/3 train at 42nd Street just before noon Thursday while carrying a large knife, according to police. Others on the subway noticed the weapon and called police.
Officers stopped the train at 72nd Street to look for the man with the knife. As James was making his escape, he allegedly stabbed a 40-year-old woman in the back, police said. The victim, Binny Marwaha-Bahl, said she was in line to buy a MetroCard at the time of the attack.
Marwaha-Bahl said she was leaving the neighborhood after visiting a friend when she felt the incredibly sharp pain and let out a scream, but was totally unaware someone had come up behind her and plunged a knife in her back.
"I was buying a MetroCard but my card wasn't going through, so I was standing there for like 30-40 seconds," Marwaha-Bahl told NBC New York. "A man on the other turnstile said, 'Oh my God, he just stabbed you! You're bleeding.' I just felt a very sharp pain."
Marwaha-Bahl said she didn't know how to react in the moment, and she just stood there with her legs shaking. Thankfully a Good Samaritan was there to offer help, holding her to slow down the bleeding and comforting her.
"He didn't care if I had corona or anything, he did not care," said Marwaha-Bahl. "He got me, he held me, he said, 'You're going to be OK,' and I kept telling him to put pressure on my back because it was such a sharp pain."
Officials said it was not a deep wound, and doctors said that a backpack Marwaha-Bahl was wearing may have helped her. She was taken to Roosevelt Hospital for stitches before being released and is expected to recover, but now feels unsafe in the city she has called home for most her life.
"I don't think I'll ever get over it," Marwaha-Bahl said. "I'm not getting on the subway for a long time at least."