Stabbing spree hero sues New York City

March 24, 2011 3:20:38 PM PDT
The man hailed a hero for helping catch a killer on the run is suing New York City.

Joseph Lozito was riding the subway when he was repeatedly stabbed, allegedly by Maksim Gelman.

Lozito kicked Gelman, who is charged with 4 murders, and helped police arrest him.

But now, Lozito claims officers on the train did not do enough to protect him from a dangerous knife wielding murder suspect.

Lozito's attorney is filing a notice of claim at State Supreme Court in Nassau County allowing his client to file a civil complaint in the near future.

It's something he says he never planned to do, that is until he learned police were allegedly just two feet away when he was being stabbed over and over again, yet did nothing to help.

"This is not a witch hunt, I'm not after anything but answers," Lozito said.

Lozito says he's not suing the city for money; he just wants to get to bottom of what happened.

The 6'2", 270 pound man, fought off the suspect, Maksim Gelman, in a subway car, ending a 28-hour multi-borough stabbing spree that left four dead and five hurt.

Lozito was stabbed six times.

He's still recovering from the deep gashes to his head, hands, and arms.

"I just want to know why. If this could have been prevented why wasn't it? I'm not looking to retire I'm not looking for a payday. I work hard and I plan to work until the ay I retire. I'm not looking to cash a check here," Lozito said.

The husband and father of two says he has reliable information from a source close to the investigation.

The uniformed officers allegedly locked themselves in the motorman's compartment while watching him get stabbed over and over again.

"The police officers, it is our understanding, saw the Gelman individual approaching Mr. Lozito, and when he reached into his jacket they were concerned that he might have a weapon, so rather than coming out they closed the door, and left Joe Lozito to do their job for them," said Edmond Chakmakian, Lozito's attorney.

The NYPD released a statement. They say, "The two officers were in the cab trying to spot Gelman on the tracks. Gelman confronted them armed with a knife. The officers tackled Gelman, causing Gelman to drop the knife which the officer's partner retrieved."

Lozito says he still trusts the police and believes in the work they do.

"If it didn't have to happen, I just want to know why. It's very important for me that police officers and law enforcement officers that this is not an indictment of everybody, I respect you guys always have," Lozito said.