Subway Showdown: Good Samaritan Faces Down Knife-Wielding Aggressor

A dramatic episode unfolded on a New York City subway train when a courageous bystander intervened to shield a group of women from a menacing drunkard. Jose Ceron, 50, could not stand by when he saw a man harassing the women by him, confronting the man and telling him “You’re leaving the train right now.” The drunkard, Diego Morales, 37, responded by pulling out a box cutter and threatening Ceron, nearly cutting him.

The encounter occurred approximately at 2 p.m. on Saturday aboard the No. 1 Train, with Ceron observing the man exhibiting aggressive behavior towards women at the 137th Street-City College station in Upper Manhattan.

In his conversation with The New York Post, Ceron recounted his tense exchange with Morales, stating that he had been shouting at the women and even pulled one of them by her hair. “Don’t do that. You don’t need to do that,” Ceron recounted telling the Morales.

Ceron said that Morales “clearly wasn’t aware of himself,” holding a bottle of bourbon in his hand while shouting at people. “He was drunk and drinking and he had an alcohol bottle on himself,” Ceron said. “Then he put his hands on people and he got himself into trouble.”

“He stood up, pulled out a box cutter and pulled the blade all the way out and held it to my face and said, ‘I’ll cut you. I’ll cut you right now.’”

Unphased by the threat, Ceron insisted to Morales to vacate the train immediately in spite of the weapon being brandished at him. “That’s fine, you can cut me now. That’s fine, but you’re leaving the train right now,” Ceron recounted.

Taking decisive action, Ceron managed to force Morales off the train upon its arrival at the 103 Street station, holding him to the ground before handing him off to law enforcement.

“So I told people to move away from the door,” he said. “The train pulled into the station and I pulled him out and he fell straight on his face. I held him down. It took about a minute and police came.”

Morales was cuffed and charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon, police said. He was also hospitalized for a cut on his face after he hit his face on the floor during the clash, law enforcement sources said.

A serial lawbreaker, Morales has 16 prior arrests, unveiling a history of violent and theft-related offenses spanning several years. Most recently prior to this altercation, Morales was arrested on July 7 for allegedly swinging a box cutter at an individual who he claimed was photographing him. In November 2022, he was taken in for allegedly harassing multiple people in public on the New York City streets. In 2019, he was arrested for getting into a fight with a police officer during which he swung a metal wrench in an attempt to strike the officer.

Despite the harrowing encounter, Ceron maintains that he will continue to use the train, remaining unfearful of the system he’s used for most of his life. “Nothing really surprises me,” Ceron remarked.

Encounters like Ceron’s have become commonplace in cities such as New York, a similar incident happened earlier this month.