It was not quite a massacre, but a mad rampage by a man wielding two cordless chainsaws on a New York subway station last week has city dwellers once again asking how safe they are.
The attack, which began soon after 3am on a platform just south of Columbia University, left one man seriously injured with deep cuts to his stomach and chest as well as a broken rib and a punctured lung. The victim, Michael Steinberg, 64,was recovering in hospital.
"The motor kept going on and he was trying to cut through me," Mr Steinberg said. He added that subway workers watched from the sidelines and did nothing at first to help him.
It is only three weeks since the city was shocked by another incident when a man from Boston was accused of going on a 13-hour stabbing spree through the streets and underground stations of Manhattan, allegedly knifing four people, three of them tourists.
Police officials said the man with the chainsaws left the subway after the attack, dumped the tools in a waste bin and, two hours later, set upon a young New Yorker walking his dog, punching him repeatedly. The suspect was arrested shortly afterwards and identified as Tareyton Williams, a former convict, who lives in the Bronx.
Mr Williams, witnesses said, had stepped onto the platform carrying a large stuffed toy gorilla. After urinating in a bottle, he apparently traded the gorilla for two black and yellow power saws that had been left unattended by contractors working on the public address system.Reuse content