DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, New York City (WABC) -- A man who accidentally bumped another person while entering a Brooklyn subway station was slashed and punched Tuesday evening, and the victim is now fighting for his life.
It happened around 6 p.m. at the Jay Street MetroTech subway station in Downtown Brooklyn.
Police say the 55-year-old victim, identified by his employer as Ramiro Sanchez, was walking into the entranceway when he inadvertently bumped the suspect.
Sanchez was then punched in the face, and a fight ensued, authorities said.
During the scuffle, Sanchez attempted to push the suspect away. At that point, police say the suspect pulled a kitchen knife and slashed Sanchez twice in the back.
"He's still in bad shape," that employer, Joseph Marte, said. "He can't even talk right now."
Marte said he is horrified and angry after his employee was nearly killed by a crazed man with a knife.
"They went down to the train station to go home, basically," Marte said. "So this big guy came up and actually was staring at him and mumbled something, and he just pushed him away and went after him. And he pulled out a knife and cut his fingers, his face and stabbed him twice in the back...the guy never say a word. He was just acting bananas."
Sanchez also sustained a puncture wound to the cheek. He remains hospitalized with severe injuries.
The suspect fled the scene.
Sanchez is only the latest victim of violent crime in the New York City transit system. Transit crime is up 50% so far this year over last year, despite stepped-up police deployments intended to deter violent crime and to respond quickly to incidents that do happen.
Cracking down on so-called quality of life violations is intended to make the system safer, a major initiative announced by Mayor Eric Adams earlier this year.
Marte said Sanchez has worked for his construction firm for 15 years, an immigrant from Mexico who, like so many, routinely sends money to his family back home.
"What's going on with the train stations? Is nothing safe in New York?" Marte said. "It's been, after the pandemic, it's been crazy, with people just hanging around in the train stations sleeping, homeless. This is what's going on, and no one has actually put a stop to it."
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).