Man arrested after 11-year-old girl slashed, woman punched outside East Harlem subway station

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Sunday, May 12, 2024
11-year-old slashing victim speaks from hospital bed
Anthony Carlo has more as an 11-year-old slashing victim speaks out from her hospital bed.

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- Maxi Park, 11, is all bandaged up and confined to a hospital bed in the Pediatric Trauma Center at Harlem Hospital. She received a number of stitches and staples after being slashed in the head.

"After the incident it was traumatizing for me, so I feel like I don't wanna go back outside," Park said.

Her mother has not left her bedside. The two were out shopping in East Harlem on Friday afternoon when police say a man walked up to Park on the street and cut her in the back of the head.

"When she turned around and I saw the hair on the sidewalk and I saw the cut from the top of her head to the bottom and I saw a knife in his hand, I realized, wow, he stabbed her," said her mother, Malgorzata Sladek.

Sladek says she chased the man down, but lost him once he ducked into the 116th Street subway station at Lexington Avenue where police recovered a box cutter on the tracks. The mother shouted for the conductor to stop the train as she frantically tried to find her daughter's attacker.

"I was thinking, 'I need to find this man, I need to chase after him and make sure whatever happens to my daughter, he knows he did very bad,'" Sladek said.

A mob of people - including an MTA worker - were part of the cavalry that helped detain the suspect. Police have identified Shaquan Cummings. Cummings has been arrested - among the charges - assault and endangering the welfare of a child. That child never expected this.

MTA employee Mario Barber described his encounter with the suspect, who was telling him that a group of people were trying to beat him up and kill him. That all apparently happened after the alleged assault of that young girl.

That MTA worker also described his effort to try to detain the suspect until police arrived.

"Somebody yelled that he stabbed someone, so I immediately grabbed him and held him for police, but after that he managed to get away, when he got away, I got him to the turnstile and he managed to get away the second time, the third a group of people caught him and beat him up," Barber said.

The group of people were salivating over the chance to get their hands on the suspect.

"When we sense danger, especially when it involves a young child, especially a little girl, the whole hood will start coming out," said Harlem resident Renel David. "Like the Avengers come to avenge, especially a small child."

It's thanks to the MTA worker and other good Samaritans that police were able to take the suspect into custody.

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