2008_01_twfight.JPG2008_01_twfight2.JPG

Whoa: A NYC Transit worker who was walking home in Harlem was attacked by a group of four men. One stabbed him, but 5 train conductor Maurice Parks managed to pull out his own knife and retaliate, stabbing one 28-year-old in the chest and a 22-year-old in the stomach.

The four men, who approached the transit worker near 139th and St. Nicholas Avenue, were trying to rob him. The 22-year-old and a 15-year-old attempted to get away, but the police arrived before they could. The fourth attacker is still at large. And the 28-year-old died at the scene.

The transit worker was taken to Harlem Hospital in stable condition with a stomach wound. He has not been charged with a crime.

Update: Some more details: Parks is 39 with three children - and a third-degree black belt in jujitsu; his mother told the Daily News she was glad he was able to react to his muggers, "I'm glad he did what he did. Otherwise, he would be dead." The News adds that Parks is muscular and "may have been saved by his bulk."

NY1 reports that now it seems that fatally stabbed man was not an attacker but possibly a bystander who was trying to help. NY1 also got a statement from the Transit Authority: "We're glad that this employee was able to fend off what appears to be a deadly attack. we hope he recovers fully from his injuries and is able to return to work."

Update 2: It looks more like the deceased man, Florenza Byas, was a bystander. The AP hedges the hypotheses a little more: "Though Byas has a Bronx address, police described him as a homeless man who apparently had received a summons for trespassing earlier in the night. It was unclear whether he was trying to help the victim, joined in the robbery or inadvertently stumbled into the skirmish, they said."

An anonymous police official told the Times, “The homeless guy wandered into the middle of it, unbeknownst to the victim, Parks, and he thinks he is one of the perpetrators and he stabs him. That is what it looks like. So the homeless guy is a victim. At first, everyone thought he was a perp, but it’s looking like he is a victim.”