A group of ten friends were riding to Brooklyn shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday morning on the No. 2 subway train, on their way home from the Cellar Bar in the Bryant Park Hotel, but after an altercation turned violent, two of them wound up dead. Apparently, one of the men tried to toss a bag of trash out of the train as it stopped at the 14th Street Station. Instead, the garbage hit an unidentified man boarding the train with his friends. The assailant took it personally and quickly flew into a homicidal rage.
"We apologized to them," Brian Woods, 24, of Flatbush, tells the Post. "We tried to tell them, 'Let's be cool about this. It's the end of the night. Everyone's going home.' But they took it as an insult. They came at us with knives." Police sources tell the Times the stabbings occurred after the 14th Street station, and the assailants are believed to have fled at the next stop, Christopher Street. "When we left, he stood banging on the glass [train window] with the knife in his hand," Woods tells the News. "[He was] laughing like he knew he got one of us."
Officers responding to an anonymous call found Darnell Morel, 24, of Martense Street, Brooklyn, and Ricardo Williams, also 24, of Bergen Street in Brooklyn, in pools of their own blood. They were pronounced dead at St. Vincent's Hospital. A third victim, Mark Joseph, 23, was stabbed in the arm and neck; he's in stable condition at St. Vincent’s. (According to the Times, both Morel and Williams had arrest records.) Two potential suspects were questioned late last night but then released.
"He got stabbed over nonsense," cried Morel's mom, Florence Kwiatkowski, to the Post. "He would be the one to put peace to things. It seemed [the other group] couldn't accept 'sorry.' It's just barbaric. Who walks around with a kitchen knife? They have to find this pig. This man is a murderer." And West Village resident Liz McCarvill, 44, tells the tabloid, "I feel like the city is losing its grip. I have to take the subway at 4:30 in the morning to get to the airport. It'll be me and the people who kill each other."
Through Thursday, at least 103 murders have been recorded by the NYPD, compared with 86 over the same period in 2009. But reported crime on the subways is at a record low; the Times says, "In 1990, an average of 47.8 crimes a day were recorded in the subway system. In 2001, the average was 10; last year, it was 5.6; and so far this year, the average is 5.3."