What to Know
- Police say an armed MTA security guard is the man seen on video swinging a machete and fighting with another man on the Upper West Side
- Police identified him as Luis Roman; he faces a number of charges, including assault and criminal possession of a weapon
- It's unclear what sparked the fight; no serious injuries were reported
An MTA security guard was arrested after he swung a machete and threatened a man with a gun as he fought with him on an Upper West Side street, authorities say.
It's unclear what sparked the early morning mêlée at the intersection of Broadway and West 94th Street shortly before 7 a.m., but the confrontation spilled onto the sidewalk, where the MTA security guard — identified by the NYPD as Luis Roman — battled with the other man, who was defending himself with a trash can, police said.
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A witness captured the fight with his cellphone as the two men clashed with fists and plastic bottles.
Police said the NYPD officers who located and arrested Roman recovered a gun and the machete. An NBC intern at the scene said the man was taken into custody near the 94th Street entrance of the downtown subway platform. The suspect had been sitting on a bench when nearly a half-dozen cops showed up and questioned him about where he had just been. The suspect told them he had just been meeting with a client. Officers put him in handcuffs.
Roman faces charges of assault, criminal mischief, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing. It's unclear if he has an attorney who can comment on the charges against him.
The witness who shot the video said he captured the last couple minutes of the fight and that the two men had been arguing for some time before things got physical.
Roman, who police said is the man seen in a white shirt in the video, tried to drive away during the argument, when the other man, seen in a red hat, threw a trash can at his car, according to the witness. That’s when Roman allegedly pulled out the machete, according to the witness.
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The video starts with the two men taunting each other. The man in white is gripping the machete and the man in red is dragging the trash can. A woman who was in the car with the man in white is seen standing between the two men while on her cellphone.
The man in white suddenly charges at the other man with the machete, but then backs off. The woman gets into the car and closes the passenger-side door, but the man in red reopens the door. That’s when the man in white dashes around the back of the car and swings the machete at him. The machete goes airborne and lands in the street.
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After that, the video shows the man in red lifting the trash can over his head and tossing it at the other man, who pushes it aside and runs for the driver’s seat. The man in red stops him from closing the door and the two men begin punching each other in the middle of Broadway. They eventually start throwing plastic bottles and cups at one another.
From there, the fight begins to fizzle out. When the video ends, the man in red is standing on the sidewalk on his cellphone and the man in white is getting into his car and beginning to drive away.
In the video, the man in white appears to have blood on his shirt as he leaves the scene. Police said the man in red hurt his hand, but that no serious injuries were reported.
The MTA had no comment on the incident.