Cops

Man Gets Stabbed on Subway. Guess How Helpful the Cops Were.

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Stabbing
Public Domain

Answer: Not very.

Joe Lozito, a Philadelphia resident and stabbing victim, shared his unforgettable story with Cracked.com. Lozito encountered Maksim Gelman—a deranged spree killer—on a New York City subway train on February 12, 2011. Gelman stabbed Lozito in the face with a knife; though grievously wounded, Lozito was able to subdue Gelman. Then the police appeared and made the arrest.

But Lozito explained to Cracked.com that the cops were present all along, hiding behind a door during the fight to the death, because they were too afraid to confront the stabber until he had been defeated:

That creepy guy—who I'd later learn was Gelman—started banging on the door of the engineer's compartment. I was sitting right by the door. The only thing separating the engineer and myself was a wall. "Let me in," the crazy person said, crazily.

It turned out there were two cops on the other side of the door, lying in wait in case Gelman hopped on this train. I found out later they'd recognized him, but they didn't charge out to stop him. Instead they asked, "Who are you?"

Gelman backed away from the door and started pacing the car. The cops stayed put, because, as the rest of this story will make clear, they weren't very good cops.

After the brawl:

The next thing I remember is a cop tapping me on the shoulder.

"You can get up now. We got him."

I felt like "we" was being a little charitable. Ever have one of those "team projects" that you end up carrying all by yourself while your partners play iPhone games? It was sort of like that, only if the project was repeatedly stabbing you in the face and head. The cops didn't come out of their compartment at all until Gelman was on the ground and de-knifed.

Neither Lozito nor the passenger who administered emergency medical assistance to him received much credit; instead, the police were hailed as heroes. But that account didn't sit right with a member of the grand jury who heard the case. This man later tracked down Lozito and explained just how cowardly the cops had acted:

I asked him to prove he was on the grand jury, and he described pictures of my injuries that were released only during the hearing. That was enough for me. He went on to explain: "When you left, they interviewed the male officer. He testified that he'd watched the whole thing, and he was about to come out. 'I started to come out, I opened the door, but I thought Gelman had a gun, so I closed the door and stayed inside.'"

Lozito eventually decided to sue the NYPD for failing to protect him. He lost that suit because the cops have "no constitutional duty" to protect people:

Turns out it is much easier knife-fighting a maniac on a train than it is law-fighting the police in court. Thanks to the 2005 Supreme Court ruling that the police have no constitutional duty to protect people from harm, Lozito's case was dropped again. We just want to stress this: they won on the grounds that the NYPD are under no obligation to protect a man being stabbed to death right in front of them. But the judge who dismissed Lozito's case was sympathetic. She said his version of the events "ring true" and appear "highly credible."

Citizens, be warned: If you ever find yourself confronting a knife-wielding maniac in New York City, you're on your own.

Read the full thing here.

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47 responses to “Man Gets Stabbed on Subway. Guess How Helpful the Cops Were.

  1. Just as long as they made it home safely.

    1. It’s really all that matters.

    2. They must be those working class heroes I’m always hearing about.

  2. Thanks to the 2005 Supreme Court ruling that the police have no constitutional duty to protect people from harm

    This, of course, means I am not obligated to pay my taxes, because they serve no purpose, right?

    RIGHT?

    1. But without the government, who would fail to provide you security?

      1. Government is just a name for the cowering in fear we do together.

  3. Lozito eventually decided to sue the NYPD for failing to protect him. He lost that suit because the cops have “no constitutional duty” to protect people

    B-b-b-but…TO SERVE AND PROTECT! It says so right on the side of their cruisers!

    1. It’s an incomplete sentence without the object. You think it’s the public. They know it’s them.

    2. So they have no obligation to protect you, but you can be charged with “failure to aid an officer”?

      How does that work again?

  4. ” He testified that he’d watched the whole thing, and he was about to come out. ‘I started to come out, I opened the door, but I thought Gelman had a gun, so I closed the door and stayed inside.'”

    Well, I KNOW you had a gun, and that you’re supposedly paid to use it in the defense of citizens.

    1. That’s a common myth. They carry their sidearm for personal protection, and to protect their brothers in blue. They are under no obligation to protect citizens. Quite the opposite. Citizens are supposed to obey their public servants, and if they fail to obey the officer may kill them. But defend citizens? That’s a joke.

      1. You forgot about shooting puppies. They need their guns for shooting puppies, too. And I guess this is just another illustration as to why citizens in NYC don’t need to carry their own guns. Because that’s what the cops are for.

    2. Shaggy is a cop?

  5. Well you can’t really blame them. It’s not like they were armed or anything.

  6. Just how helpful were the cops?

    Hmm…

    1. As helpful as your link?

        1. Ugh. I give up. Two SF links in a row.

          1. It happens to all of us. Just try not to get too down on yourself about it. That will only make it worse.

            1. down on yourself

              TWTANFL

  7. Bringing a knife to a gunfight has become a proverb for setting yourself up for defeat. This lunatic *literally* brought a knife, and the guys with guns didn’t do anything!

    1. It could have been worse, they could have shot Lozito in a hail of panic-fire.

      1. In fact, I read this and assumed they probably would have killed both of them.

  8. It’s gotten to the point where I’m pleasantly surprised he wasn’t arrested.

    1. That’s where I thought this story was going. Seriously.

      1. I thought the cops were going to shoot him (the victim, not the crazy guy)

  9. If Lozito had been an off-duty cop, then this story would be about how heroic police took down a maniac with guns ‘a blazin’.

  10. For those who haven’t already, read Warren v. District of Columbia. No duty to protect compounded with (at the time) no ability to own a firearm in the home to protect yourself when the heroes just drive by your house while your downstairs neighbor is being brutally raped and your next on the local wildlife’s menu.

  11. Lozito eventually decided to sue the NYPD for failing to protect him. He lost that suit because the cops have “no constitutional duty” to protect people:

    How’s that for service? They possess a monopoly on the service of protecting people from crime, but have no duty, contractual or otherwise, to actually protect their customers. Welcome to statism.

    1. Well their title is Law Enforcement Officer and not Security Enforcement Officer after all.

      1. Which tells you how little the monopolist law producer’s interests intersect with the public interest.

    2. That’s just it; cops don’t have a “monopoly on the service of protecting people from crime”. In most states, any citizen can enforce the law, and in ALL states, any citizen can utilize force, up to and including deadly force, to stop the commission of a violent felony. Everyone ASSUMES that the police are responsible for their personal safety, simply because they have abdicated that responsibility themselves.

  12. I eagerly await “dunphy’s” defense of the two spineless cowards.

    1. Just the other day he valiantly saved a damsel in distress because Washington is so much better and…

    2. I eagerly await “dunphy’s” defense of the two spineless cowards.

      Why? What are you; a masochist?

  13. The spree-ist should have been wantonly injuring the sensibilities of people by madly strumming a guitar or dancing nude in a subway car. In nanoseconds cops would have swiftly ejected his non-licensed ass…

  14. Citizens, be warned: If you ever find yourself confronting a knife-wielding maniac in New York City, you’re on your own.

    And god forbid you happen to have something on you to even up the odds with the maniac; The Biggest Gang doesn’t like that sort of competition.

  15. When seconds count…the police are cowering behind a corner.

    1. Unless the problem is a 6-month old puppy, a non-licensed musician, a homeless person, or a slightly-disobedient everyday citizen… in which case things will be happily bent, broken, or killed.

  16. So now you know how to avoid being hassled by the cops: Be a weapon-wielding maniac.

  17. Citizens, be warned: If you ever find yourself confronting a knife-wielding maniac in New York City, you’re on your own.

    But don’t, you know, use a gun.

  18. Kind of old news. And no h/t for whoever posted the Cracked article in the AM links yesterday. But this short video doc (also a repost from the AM links) on the incident was also very good.

  19. Citizens, be warned: If you ever find yourself confronting a knife-wielding maniac in New York City, you’re on your own.

    …or a student cowering in a classroom while two shooters calmly roam the halls killing everything that moves.

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