You have to hand it to Michael Steinberg - he is a fighter. The 64 year old postal worker, who was on his way to work when a deranged man sliced through his chest with a cordless Dewalt reciprocating saw yesterday, had a punctured lung and broken rib - not to mention the whole "sliced chest" thing - yet he still gave hospital bedside interviews with newspapers and TV stations to tell his side of the story. And what a story. The Daily News has his words about the experience at the 110th and Broadway station:
I was waiting outside to put my MetroCard through. I saw a lot of ... [construction workers] running away down the platform and I saw this guy with a hacksaw, or whatever the hell it was, running toward me.
They ran away. I wasn't sure what everybody was running from. Then the guy came outside where I was standing. He looked at me and before I knew it he was attacking me.
The motor kept going on and he was trying to cut through me.
He never stopped. For two, three, four times he never stopped.
I screamed for help. "Please help! Please help me!"
The ... people [construction workers] heard me. They just looked. They never stopped to help me, and that disturbed me more than anything else. I begged for somebody to call an ambulance and to get this guy off me.
He never spoke. I think he was out of his mind...
...I was bleeding everyplace. No transit employee ever came over to me to see how I was doing. They just kept doing their job.
That's what upsets me more than anything else. There were at least six of them there, and they could have gotten him off me. It's a sad commentary on how people just don't give a damn.
At the end, when he was finished he said, "Give me your money."
Williams took $200 and credit cards and fled. The workers that Steinberg may have been referring to could have been contracted construction workers who were fixing the sound system. The MTA adds that token booth workers are supposed to stay in the booth to contact emergency workers - and the worker at 110th Street and Broadway says she was hysterical and "going out her mind" for Steinberg.
It's believed that Williams snatched two saws from the workers' tables. Witnesses said Williams, a Bronx resident, tried to attack others on the platform and was possibly holding a teddy bear. After stabbing Steinberg, Williams dumped the saws in the garbage outside an apartment building and ran off. The police apprehended him at West 93rd and Broadway, a few hours after punching a man walking his dog at West 86th and West End around 5:30AM. Williams was taken to Bellevue for observation.
And for those of you debating uptown versus midtown/downtown subway violence, in 2004, there was a woman was shot at the 42nd Street Times Square station during morning commuting hours and another man was shot at the West 18th Street station, possibly by his girlfriend's husbands.