New York firefighters were shocked by one man who chased down a woman in front of their department and started hitting her with a meat cleaver he was storing in his pants.
As firefighters started preparing the department for the day, they saw a man chasing a woman around 10:20 a.m. on Canal Street in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood.
It was seen by Jose Ortiz and a few other firefighters working at Engine Company 9 firehouse. They were preparing their equipment for the day and looked over at some commotion they heard.
The man began dragging the woman by her hair as she cried. She attempted to fight him off as Ortiz approached.
As Ortiz walked over, he saw the 28-year-old man pull out a meat cleaver from his pants. The man began hitting her in the head and face with the cleaver.
“I would guess maybe six, eight, ten times, he hit the woman in the head,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz attempted to hold the man back, but he kept swinging the cleaver. It wasn’t until firefighters Shane Clarke and Jim Trainor stepped in that they were able to get the man to stop.
They were surprised at how difficult it was to control him.
“He was not a big guy, only about 5’5,” but the cleaver made him a little taller,” Ortiz said.
They flagged down a police car and had the man arrested.
Though they had the man under arrest, the woman was still frightened and ran off as soon as she was released from his grasp. Ortiz told Shane to follow her so they could make sure she was treated.
“She bolts. Shane follows her, because I told him, ‘You’ve got to follow the lady, because she’s hurt,’” Ortiz said.
He found her at a nearby restaurant and an ambulance took her to Bellevue Hospital. Fortunately, the woman said her face, back, and hip lacerations are not life-threatening.
Though the department is accustomed to seeing horrifying events, they were extremely shocked by the incident.
“Besides the World Trade Center, this was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” Clarke said.
The man is currently in custody and the reason for the attack is yet to be revealed.