Man slashed across face in subway dispute speaks out, mayor denies crime problem

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Friday, February 5, 2021
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Eyewitness News speaks exclusively with Noel Quintana, who was on his way to the first of two jobs Wednesday morning when he was slashed across the face from cheek to cheek.

EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The family of a man who was slashed across the face during a dispute on a subway train in Manhattan said his wounds were so deep, he was unable to talk.

Noel Quintana, 61, was on his way to the first of two jobs Wednesday morning when he was slashed across the face from cheek to cheek.

"When I saw him I started crying," Quintana's cousin, Vilma Veres said.

Eyewitness News spoke exclusively with the victim who says he was scared for his life.

"I was scared because I thought I was gonna die and nobody helped me," Quintana said.

Police say he had been in a confrontation with another man while the two were riding on an L subway train.

Quintana says the emotionally disturbed man was kicking his backpack and when he asked him to stop, the suspect attacked him and fled when the train stopped at First Avenue and 14th Street.

Quintana was left bleeding, he stumbled off the train, and was able to get help from a ticket booth attendant who called 911.

This is the latest of a series of subway attacks troubling the MTA, but Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to acknowledge a crime problem.

"We can talk about facts and encourage the people to understand the facts, or we can just create fear for the sake of fear. We choose the former. We choose to tell people that the NYPD is out there every day, protecting their safety," de Blasio said.

"When you look at the transit crime numbers, they are down significantly," Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

In fact, NYPD statistics show major crimes, including acts of violence, have plunged more than 50% so far this year compared to the same time last year.

Police are now searching for the attacker. They say he was wearing a black mask with a Louis Vuitton logo and a black North Face coat.

Quintana was treated at Bellevue Hospital.

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