A freelance camera operator who works for CBC News in New York City says he’s happy to be alive and fortunate he was able to help someone after intervening in a stabbing that took place on a subway platform on Wednesday night.
“My only concern at that moment was to incapacitate the attacker, to stop that attack from going any further,” Sean Conaboy told The National‘s Andrew Chang on Friday. “It wasn’t until later that I was more concerned for my own safety as far as being stabbed myself.
“It was the only thing to do.”
Conaboy said he had just finished a 12-hour shift in Times Square for CBC News when he headed to the Union Square subway station in Manhattan. “I noticed an individual who had been casing other people on the platform who were oblivious to him, you know, lost in their cell phones and their devices,” he said. The two made eye contact, and Conaboy said his alert level went up.
WARNING | This footage contains violent content:
Surveillance footage from the station showed the man who Conaboy noticed attack another commuter. “I saw her get yanked back violently from the edge of the platform. I saw a knife produced and swung in a circular, arcing motion,” Conaboy said.
“It’s unmistakable, that’s a stabbing happening, and she screamed and I ran toward it.”
Conaboy could be seen tackling the assailant, then approaching from behind and pulling him off the victim. Other commuters then came to help restrain the attacker, who was later arrested.
“Physically, I’m fine. It’s been an emotional drain, I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet,” he said. A local reporter was able to put him in touch with the victim. “She’s traumatized, of course, but she’s going to make a full recovery.”
The two plan to meet next week at grand jury testimony for the case. The attacker was charged with four counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon, according to a local ABC affiliate.
“I’m just happy to be alive, and I’m even more fortunate that I was able to help somebody who was in severe distress and could have potentially lost her life as the result of a random act of violence,” Conaboy said.