2007_04_dewalt.jpgAlmost ten months ago, postal worker MIchael Steinberg was going to work and taking the train at 110th Street and Broadway. But then Tareyton Williams grabbed two electric, reciprocating saws from a Transit Authority contractor's work table and sawed into Steinberg's chest as he threatened passengers. Williams, who pleaded guilty after being found fit for trial ( in spite of him carrying a huge stuffed gorilla like a baby before the attack), was sentenced to 18 years in prison yesterday.

Steinberg said at the sentencing that he's still afraid to go into the subway. "To be honest, I'm afraid to walk the streets at times. I wasn't afraid of nothing. Now I'm afraid of everything and everybody." Williams apologized again at the trial, saying, "I feel real bad for what happened to his family, but I guess I'll pay for it," which Steinberg accepted. Williams had also sent him a letter last year, inviting Steinberg to the strip club where he had worked as a bouncer.

Steinberg, who suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs - not to mention the whole sliced-open chest thing - and even told his story to the media after the incident, said he forgave Williams because "we're all God's children," but said, "I don't forgive the Transit Authority." Steinberg contends that subway employees saw him get attacked but did nothing to help; the MTA says that some of the workers were contractors, not official TA employees, and that the token booth clerk had called the police. But the AP reports that the Manhattan DA's office announced that "power tools would no longer be left unattended in the future," which is reassuring but it makes ou wonder why they were unattended in the first place.