A man wielding a cordless power saw in each hand rampaged through a Manhattan subway station early Thursday, using one of the buzzing blades to carve into the chest of a postal worker who later said it felt like “he was trying to cut through me.”
Police arrested Tareyton Williams, 33, of the Bronx, on attempted murder and other charges about two hours later after they said he punched someone in another random attack on the street.
The victim, Michael Steinberg, 64, was hospitalized in stable condition. Speaking by telephone to reporters who gathered outside the hospital, he said the attack was unprovoked.
The assailant “never spoke,” Steinberg said. “I think he was out of his mind.”
The attacker snatched the two saws from a cart being used by workers upgrading the public address system at a subway station a few blocks south of Columbia University. He assaulted Steinberg moments after taking a swipe at another rider and missing, police said.
“He looked at me and before I knew it he was attacking me,” Steinberg said of the pre-dawn attack. “The motor kept going on. He was trying to cut through me.”
Steinberg said the attacker finally paused to demand money, then bolted out of the station with his wallet and the power tools. The saws were later found in a trash can.
Williams was in police custody Thursday evening. There was no telephone listing for him at the home address provided by police.
The attack came two weeks after a Boston man was charged with stabbing four people — three of them tourists — over a 13-hour period in the subway and the theater district in Manhattan.