This MTA employee is a special agent.
Clerk Richard Singleton rushed out of his booth and stopped a 27-year-old man from slashing a 30-year-old man Sunday morning in a Manhattan subway station, officials said.
“I grabbed his arm and held his wrist and the knife fell to the floor,” Singleton said of the 27-year-old suspect, Donald Cheatham. “I got on top of him and held him until the police showed up.”
The men were arguing in front of a token booth at the 6 train subway station at 28th St. and Park Ave. South about 8:15 a.m. when one of the men took out a knife and attacked the other, police said.
Singleton, a transit worker for 18 years, had just arrived to take over from another clerk who said two men were arguing on the platform. The dispute started when one man accused the other of stealing his phone, Singleton said.
The two exited through the turnstiles and continued arguing.
“They were arguing and it escalated into a physical altercation and one of them pulled out a knife and started stabbing in front of the booth,” said Singleton, of the Bronx.
The victim, whose name wasn’t released, was cut in the head and neck.
“The only thing I thought was, ‘Am I in a position to save this person’s life?’” Singleton recalled. “Everything else happened so fast but I knew I couldn’t let someone get stabbed to death in front of me.”
Transport Workers Union Local 100 Vice President of Stations Maurice Jenkins praised Singleton.
Jenkins said the attack proves that station clerks are necessary because cameras can’t stop crime.
“Technology can enhance the experience but never replace people in the system,” he said. “This man is a hero.”
Cheatham, of North Carolina, was charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon Sunday night, police said. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.
Police said they don’t believe the men knew each other.
“Now I know what I would do in such a situation,” Singleton said. “It feels good.”