New York, NY – An axe-wielding man who was threatening another passenger on the subway was brought down by an alert Good Samaritan on Saturday night.
Mark Pickett told the New York Daily News that he was on a Bronx-bound subway train at about 10:40 p.m. on April 27 when he saw a man pull a hatchet out of his bag and go after another passenger.
Pickett yelled a warning to the axe-wielding man’s intended victim. And then he lunged and tackled the would-be assailant.
“I just couldn’t let him hit that guy in the back of the head," Pickett told the Daily News. "I would’ve felt terrible had that happened.”
Witness Sarah MacDonnell told WLNY she saw the Good Samaritan intervene to save the other passenger, later identified as 30-year-old Anthony Castro.
“All of a sudden I heard a guy saying, ‘He’s gonna hit you, he’s gonna hit you,’ and there was a lunge of people,” MacDonnell said. “This Good Samaritan tackled this guy and he had him held up against post next to the door.”
Castro told the New York Daily News that he turned around when he heard Pickett’s warning and saw a man with an axe coming at him.
“When he went back to swing, that’s when I rushed him,” Pickett explained.
Reyes fought to hold onto his axe until another passenger intervened and kicked him, the Good Samaritan explained.
Pickett held 46-year-old Reinaldo Reyes up against a pole inside the subway car until they reached the next station and police officers boarded the train to take the man into custody, WLNY reported.
“He had him pushed up against the metal bar, so he wasn’t going anywhere,” MacDonnell said. “He told me that he had seen him in the previous car and followed him because he was acting erratically and saw he had weapons on him.”
Castro was grateful to his guardian angel on the New York subway.
“My life was on the line,” he told the New York Daily News. “If it weren’t for the guy who warned me, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now.”
Pickett said he had first noticed Reyes when they were both standing on the subway platform at the 50th Street Station and said that the other man had “a crazed look in his eye,” the New York Daily News reported.
He said Reyes didn’t start messing with the contents of his bag until they were on the train.
“You could hear the metal pipes or whatever that’s in his bag,” he recounted. "He goes to pull out the ax. The back part of the ax, the pointed part, got caught in the bag. He’s struggling to take it out to the point where he rips a hole in the bag.
Castro also said the incident showed that New Yorkers aren’t always walking around in their own worlds.
“We all have a crazy view of how New Yorkers are — we don’t talk to each other, we don’t get along," he added. "But Saturday night at 11 o’clock we all came together and were helping each other out. It was a nice moment in a crazy moment.”
Responding officers discovered Reyes was also carrying two pipes, a knife, mace, and another axe with what looked like dried blood on it inside the bag in which he had carried the axe.
He was arrested and charged with assault, reckless endangerment, 10 counts of weapons possession, menacing, unlawful possession of a noxious matter for the mace, and two counts of disorderly conduct, the New York Daily News reported.
Police said Reyes had a record of 15 prior arrests, several of which were for transit crimes such as fare evasion, according to WLNY.