According to reports, the incident occurred at approximately 10:20 Sunday in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood. Several members of the Engine 9, Ladder 6 “Chinatown Dragon Fighters” heard a woman screaming and hurried to investigate the source. Many NY fire engine companies have nicknames alluding to the local neighborhood.
The firefighters watched in horror as they saw a woman being attacked by a man wielding a meat cleaver. According to eyewitness reports, the man had been dragging the screaming and crying woman. In a terrible instant, the man produced a meat cleaver and struck the woman about the head, neck, back, and face. She had also sustained defensive wounds to her arms.
“All of a sudden, I saw the cleaver go up, and then swing down, hitting her in the head,” said Firefighter Jose Ortiz, an 18 year veteran of NYFD. “That was the first shot. I’m thinking, ‘I’ve got to help this person. He hit her maybe eight or ten times before we could get to her.’”
Without hesitating, Ortiz and Firefighter James Trainor tackled the assailant, who was later identified as Ming Guang Huang. Several other firefighters sought the police.
Firefighter Shane Clarke attempted to catch up with the terrified victim, who had panicked and fled. He caught up with her a few blocks from the scene.
“There was a language barrier, because she had limited English” Clarke said. “She was disoriented wouldn’t let us come near her.”
“ She was bleeding profusely from lacerations to her head, neck, and torso,’ said NYPD spokesperson Jim Long. “There was a lot of blood.”
The victim was transported to Bellvue Medical Center, where she is listed on critical, yet stable condition.
“I am happy that we were there to help,” Ortiz said. “I’m sorry that we were not there early enough to prevent the whole attack altogether.”
Huang, 28, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and harassment. He is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at the Bellevue prison ward.
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