Update 2: The pencil was a pen, and the stabber (the Post calls him “deranged stoner Cordero Coroberto, 35”) had been attempting to light no innocent tobaccey cigarette but “a blunt”! (That’s marijuana cigarette to you. Happy 4/20. Don’t do that.) Via the Daily News, he said, “I was just trying to light my blunt and the b— wouldn’t leave me alone, so I hit her.” Buzz. Kill.
It was with an audible gasp of horror that we learned the news that a woman had been stabbed in the head with a pencil on the 3 train today. This is because we, too, have been stabbed in a body part with a pencil, though it was during the changing of classes during middle school, and we were an innocent bystander caught in the fray, and it was in the hand. We’ve had time to get over that. That does not mean that all those memories and unresolved emotions didn’t come rushing back with today’s news!
Via NBC NY, the woman had complained that the man had (rudely, and against the rules!) lit a cigarette in the car of a downtown express 3 train. The altercation became heated, apparently, and as the train pulled into the Chambers Street station around 9:15 a.m., the pencil stabbing occurred.
Fortunately, passengers alerted the conductor and the woman is fine and has been treated for a minor flesh wound. The attacker has been arrested and charged with assault. As in that case in middle school so long ago, there is no word on the pencil. But all this begs the question: Who carries a pencil nowadays, anyway? (DNA Info says it was a pen.)
There’s still a bit of lead in our hand if you look real close.
Update: Ronethea Williams, a witness on the train, wrote about her experience on her personal blog and in the comments on Gothamist. She says the man “just looked like a guy on the train. I wouldn’t have even thought that he was crazy had he not tried to light a cig on the train.” The story sounds pretty insane. She writes,
We continue riding and I hear a commotion. A woman is yelling at a guy, but I’m not sure what it’s about. I chalk it up to stressed out New Yorkers and continue reading about Gwen Stefani & No Doubt’s reunion assuming they would soon realize they were being silly and stop. They don’t. The woman gets louder and says “Don’t light that thing on the train!” I look over and see that the guy she’s yelling at has a lighter and the flames seem larger than normal. It wasn’t one of those $.99 cents Bic lighters, it was pretty hardcore. Congratulations kids, I’m now alarmed. The woman continues to tell the guy to stop and tries to knock the lighter from his hand and things get physical. The entire train is looking at this go down and people are starting to get a little frantic. The man tells the woman “I will f*cking kill you”. The woman yells at the man “I will f*cking kill YOU!!” They are pushing one another. Another woman steps in to help….
2 men run over to try to help restrain the guy. For context, this guy is probably 5’7 150lbs…I could probably take him. I’m in the middle of the car trying to calm people down and I look over and see blood gushing from the woman’s face. While she was restraining the guy in the corner, he took out his knife (edit: according to reports it was a pen) and SLASHED her face – from her temple to her nose. Yes. I’m riding the train to work…and someone has just gotten stabbed in the face. Twilight-freaking-zone. The craziest part is that the woman continues to try to get the knife (pen) from the guy and beats his hand until he drops it. She’s obviously running on adrenaline. We are still between 14th & Chambers.
After much commotion, the train pulled into the station where an MTA worker attended to the woman. Our blogger concludes,
This woman was doing what she thought was right. She was standing up to this man for her safety…for our safety. This story will probably not make the news because this is New York – it’s not news unless someone brutally dies…or someone involved is famous. My colleague was on a train behind me and was simply told “We are being held because of an ‘incident’ on an earlier train”. I will never think of “incident” the same again.
Originally posted Tuesday, April 19, 1:35 p.m.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 20, 2011