< Return To News Archive
July 9, 2013
?I wasn?t even thinking?: Man describes moment he took down a crazed subway stabber

by Hilary Whittier


MIDTOWN, Manhattan (PIX11) - A typical subway commute turned into a blood bath when 39-year-old Heather Burke was traveling on the 6 train, Monday morning.

Police say a homeless woman holding a steak knife, lunged at her for no apparent reason, and stabbed her first in the shoulder, then in her stomach.

Witnesses say Heather is lucky to be alive, thanks to good samaritans like Charles Williams.

“I was just like ‘wow, what did I just do?” Williams says.

It’s a question many are asking him. Charles was directly outside of the subway when the chaos broke out.

“I just saw people coming out of the subway and up the stairs saying, ‘somebody’s downstairs and swinging a knife’. So I just went. I wasn’t even thinking, I just went.”

That’s when Charles went to grab the attacker as she was still swinging her steak knife.

“I was just holding her down so nobody else could get hurt.”

And thanks to Charles, and several others nearby, the attacker was held down long enough until security officers came in to help.

“In my neighborhood, we see a lot of violence,” he tells WPIX. “And if you’re there to help, you’re going to help.”

But Charles says he’s come a long way since his past, where he spent two years in prison a decade ago.

Since then, he tells us he’s pulled his life together, become a part of The Doe Fund, and become an active volunteer with his father.

But even with his good deed, he still won’t call himself a hero.

“I don’t want to be a hero, I just helped someone out, and was glad I could help someone out.”


< Return To News Archive ^ back to top