A New York City fire inspector who was knifed in the back by a stranger on a subway platform Friday lamented to The Post that other straphangers simply walked past him as he was being attacked.
“In America, people don’t care about other people,” said Taofeek Ajisegiri, 54, who immigrated to the US from Lagos, Nigeria, six years ago.
“They were walking, they were looking away,” he said of the three or four other riders who were near him as he was being assaulted by a vicious nut on the A-B-C-D platform at Harlem’s 125th Street station in Manhattan around 4:25 a.m.
“People don’t want to involve themself with anybody,” Ajisegiri said.
“It’s not like my country,” he said. “If something happened on the street in my country, people would run to you and say, ‘What’s happened? What’s happened?’
“In this country people look away and go their own way.”
The victim, who is from Brooklyn, said he was on his way to buy a MetroCard when he was attacked.
He needed 12 stitches to close the wound on his back.
His sister, Olayinka Olanipekun, said she was upset no one came to her brother’s aid.
“Looking away is not good,” said Olanipekyn, 53.
“When the incident happened, if the three people around assisted him, maybe they would have been able to catch the guy,” she said.
“I think the guy knew that nobody was going to come to his rescue, that’s why he did what he did. If something is happening around us, we should help each other out.”
Ajisegiri said that before he was attacked, he saw his assailant urinating on the platform but didn’t exchange words with him.
“I’m walking on the platform, and I saw the guy stand behind that wall, and he’s peeing. I don’t want it to touch me,” Ajisegiri said. “He walks to me, and he says, ‘What’s happening? Why are you looking at me? Stop talking to me and stop harassing me.’ I don’t respond because I have nothing to say.”
That’s when the assailant stabbed him in the back without a word, he said.
“I followed him, yelling, ‘Police! Police!’ but nobody assisted me,” the shaken Ajisegiri said.
There were no police around at the time of the incident, the victim said.
He said he tried to chase to the attacker before the man attempted to stab him again.
“I can’t believe this happened to me,” he said. “I hear about it, but I can’t believe it would happen to me.”
His message to Mayor Eric Adams was to “keep working [to help] the people that are disturbed” in the subways because “it’s too rampant at this time of night.
“I don’t think it’s only about putting more cops on the train,” Ajisegiri said. “[Subway criminals] are doing the devil’s work. They know how they’re playing the game, they move around the train station. If the cop is on one side, they move to the other side.”
The attack on the man was only one of the city’s latest violent underground assaults.
Hours after Ajisegiri was stabbed, a 20-year-old woman was slashed on an A Train in Upper Manhattan.
The victim said her sister had AirDropped something to passengers on the train and that a man confronted her over it. The man hit the sister, and a fight ensued, during which the woman was slashed on her side.
She told The Post on Friday from her Inwood home that the city could be doing more to ensure riders’ safety, including involving cops.
“As far as being close to the train stations at least, having officers on the train,” said the victim, who asked not to be identified. “The ambulance responded on scene, they came immediately. Police handled the situation very well.
“But the cops were called, they weren’t present around in the area. They could definitely be patrolling more and around this area more.”
Additional reporting by Joe Marino
Read the full article here