A tourist who was lost and fell asleep in a subway station was slashed in the neck, face and hands in lower Manhattan early Friday, authorities said.
The 55-year-old man was on the 6 train platform at the Bleecker Street station near SoHo when he was attacked, authorities said.
The tourist from Israel was returning from an appointment with a diamond salesperson in Manhattan's Diamond District when he got lost and fell asleep on a subway bench, according to law enforcement sources.
The suspect, who may have been homeless, woke him demanding money just before 4 a.m., authorities said. A struggle ensued, the suspect pulled a knife and slashed the man a number of times, police said.
Surveillance video released by police shows the suspect allegedly using a knife to cut open the victim's pockets as the victim resists and struggles to exit the subway station.
Afterward, the bleeding victim walked out of the station, where he was helped by good Samaritans. Blood was visible on the sidewalk outside the station.
"We just saw him coming up the subway steps and he was bleeding really heavily," a witness said. "We helped him out. We put pressure on his wrists."
The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.
The victim was dressed in Hadisic garb, but law enforcement sources say police don't believe it was a hate crime.
Southbound 6 trains bypassed the station for more than 12 hours after the attack, according to the MTA, but were stopping again by Friday night. B, D, F and M trains, which run through the adjoining Broadway - Lafayette Street station, were not affected.
No arrests have been made.
The attack adds to a growing trend of slashings and stabbings across the city. New numbers released by the NYPD show that from the start of the year through April 3, there have been 1,057 slashings and stabbings, compared to 852 last year during the same time period. That's a 25 percent increase.
The NYPD recently announced it's working to curb slashings and stabbings through a new initiative called Operation Cutting Edge.
The police commissioner has also warned New Yorkers against dozing off on the subway, noting in February that half of all subway crime in the past year involved a sleeping victim. Bill Bratton said he has instructed cops to wake sleeping passengers in an effort to keep them safe.
"It makes me scared, a little nervous to ride the subway, because you never know, like you could be standing next to somebody and the next minute they're cutting you," said straphanger Kaeisha Malcolm of Williamsbridge.
"I find it very scary. People come out here to shop and enjoy themselves, the fact you gotta look over your shoulder every five seconds, it ain't safe," said Chloe Chudina of Borough Park.
Anyone with information about the attack should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.