Man Arrested After Confrontation With Civilian On NYC Subway

A man who has previously been arrested was taken into custody again after harassing people on the subway in New York City and threatening the passenger who detained him with a weapon.

Diego Morales, 37, was arrested on March 30 for disturbing subway riders and pulling out a box-cutter on 50-year-old Jose Ceron, who confronted Morales to stop him from bothering female passengers. Ceron approached the repeat offender while on the train in an effort to get him to cease his apparent harassment of a group of women.

Morales, who was drunk at the time of the incident, branded a box cutter at Ceron, who apprehended the man off the subway and held him on the platform while awaiting police response.

The incident occurred near 2 p.m. on Saturday. Both men involved were waiting to board the subway at the Upper Manhattan station on 137th Street. The intoxicated man was reportedly being “belligerent” and “a nuisance,” according to an interview given to the New York Post by Ceron.

He explained to the outlet that Morales started yelling at a group of women once they boarded the train, even grabbing the hair of one of them. Ceron said he spoke to Morales in Spanish, telling him that he did not “need to do that” before he sat down again.

Then Morales revealed a box cutter and, holding it up to Ceron’s face, threatened that he would “cut you right now.” Ceron reportedly insinuated that he would take the hit as long as the perpetrator got off the train “right now.”

Pulling into the station at 102 Street, Ceron forced Morales off the subway, where he “fell straight on his face” and was in police custody shortly after. Morales has been arrested 16 times before for offenses related to weapon possession and theft. He has also been removed from the subway before due to his behavior.

The incident comes amid growing unrest and attacks within the New York City subway system. Random attacks against train riders and an increase in thefts has led to greater law enforcement presence, headed by the New York Police Department. Following recent attacks—one of which sent a passenger to the hospital with a head injury—New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) informed the public that he would be instructing security personnel to do more bag checks at certain stations in an effort to catch weapons that are being snuck into the stations and used against passengers.