NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There were some scary moments on the subway on Saturday night when police say an axe-wielding man threatened another passenger.
Investigators say he had more weapons on him, but was held back by good Samaritans before anything could happen, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported Sunday.
Cellphone video shows NYPD officers tightening handcuffs on 46-year-old Reinaldo Reyes, as one passenger thanks another for stepping in and saving the day before violence could break out.
“Your worst of fears is that he would’ve swung an axe at the man,” witness Sarah MacDonnell said.
MacDonnell began recording just moments after police say Reyes flashed his axe at a stranger on the uptown 1 train as it approached 66th Street on Saturday at around 10:40 p.m.
“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.”
Police say Reyes had an axe, a hatchet, a knife, two batons and mace. It’s unclear what provoked him.
But that brave passenger who interceded at his own risk, kept a tight grip on Reyes as others called for help and held the train. Police arrived in moments to arrest him.
“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.”
MacDonnell said if that man hadn’t helped out, things could have ended very differently.
“I said, ‘Thank you,’ and I told him, ‘You saved us,’ because there’s no question about that,” MacDonnell said. “You really did something extraordinary. There’s brave people amongst us, people willing to take action and look out for others.”
Police said Reyes has 15 prior arrests, many of them for transit crimes like fare evasion. This time around he’s facing a slew of charges, including assault, reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon.