A man who began screaming and acting erratically while harassing passengers on a New York City subway has died after being put into a chokehold by another passenger, who has been identified as a former U.S. Marine.
— New York Post (@nypost) May 2, 2023
According to the New York City Police Department (NYPD), the incident occurred on the F train at the Broadway-Lafayette Street station at around 2:30 p.m. on Monday.
The 30-year-old man was reportedly acting erratically and harassing other passengers on the subway when the 24-year-old former Marine intervened and put him in a chokehold. According to police, he lost consciousness while in the chokehold and never regained consciousness — even with medical intervention from EMS workers who arrived on the scene at the Broadway-Lafayette Street/Bleecker Street station.
According to police, no weapons were used during the incident, and other passengers who witnessed the altercation confirmed the former Marine’s account that the man had been harassing them.
Speaking with the New York Post, one witness stated that the man had been screaming at other passengers in a threatening manner.
“He said he had no food, he had no drink, that he was tired and doesn’t care if he goes to jail,” said freelance journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez. “He started screaming all these things, took off his jacket, a black jacket that he had, and threw it on the ground.”
The NYPD questioned the formerly enlisted Marine and then released him without charges.
In comments to WABC-TV, Former NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce explained that the former Marine may have been preventing imminent harm — though other factors may have to be considered in the matter.
“How long was the actual hold, the neck compression? Was he screaming let me go, let me go? All these things will go into the determination,” Boyce said.
“The safest thing to do is to call 911 if you can down there, or find an officer nearby,” Boyce added. “However, save those two instances, if there’s an immediate need to help someone, you do it. Simple as that. So, he will have to articulate immediate need.”
According to law enforcement sources, the now-deceased man had numerous prior arrests for previous violent actions, as well as for disorderly conduct and fare beating. The NYPD is currently awaiting autopsy results.
Multiple news outlets obtained video of the altercation.