New surveillance video shows the latest stabbing to take place inside the New York City subway, while also capturing the moment a straphanger tackled the knife-wielding suspect to the ground.
In what was at least the fourth attack at the Union Square subway station in just a week’s time, the video shows a man walking along the southbound platform on the N/Q/R/W line just after 10 p.m. Wednesday. Suddenly, the man lunges at a 54-year-old woman dressed in black, police said, stabbing her in the collar bone and back of shoulder multiple times.
In the video Sean Conaboy can be seen keeping his eye on the attacker leading up to the assault. Moments later, the startling attack takes place, and Conaboy immediately steps in to help the woman.
"I noticed an individual who was acting a little bit suspiciously," Conaboy told NBC New York. "(The victim) was pulled backward, she screamed. And then an arm and a hand came out with a fairly long blade, 5 inches maybe, dagger and made arching sweeping motion."
Conaboy says natural instinct led him to run towards the attacker, tackling on him. Other subway riders also helped, holding the suspect’s ankles and feet down until police arrived.
"Time slowed down and I thought why am I not getting stabbed? I was completely vulnerable," he said. "I was able to work my forearm under his throat and I pulled his hair back to prevent him from biting me because he was attempting to bite my arm."
The transit hub is also home to an NYPD substation, and Conaboy sooner heard "the unmistakable sound of boots, belts clanking, gear" as police had arrived.
The victim at home recovering, and the suspect under arrest. The suspect's name and charges he is facing were not made immediately clear. Meanwhile, Conaboy is happy he made it out alive, and thought about everything that happened so fast.
"I spent some time rolling it around in my head, and I woke up in the morning, thought about it again and said I'm fortunate to be alive after that," he said.
The MTA released a statement Thursday night saying it was grateful for the actions of Good Samaritans like Conaboy and the others who helped subdue the suspect. They also said that the incident is a reminder of why more officer and mental health professionals are need in the subways.