Thief stabs straphanger on C train during robbery



A mugger targeting riders on an Upper West Side subway train stabbed and wounded a victim who fought back with his cane Saturday morning, officials said.


The downtown C train was running express due to track work, leaving panicked passengers stuck with the knife-wielding crook as the subway bypassed seven stops.


The mayhem began when Jamel Purnell pulled a knife on a 28-year-old man as the train left the 125th St. station about 6 a.m., according to cops. He got away with the victim’s knapsack and cellphone.


A few moments later, Purnell threatened a 62-year-old man with a knife — but the victim refused to give up his belongings and fought Purnell off with his cane, police said.

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During the struggle, Purnell allegedly stabbed the victim in the stomach three times, while the victim bashed his attacker in the head with the cane, police said.


When the mugger scurried off to another car on the train, the wounded victim ran to a conductor and alerted him to what happened.


As the conductor called police, riders were stuck on the train with the bloodied attacker until it arrived at 59th St./Columbus Circle.

Purnell is accused of stabbing a passenger, robbing another and threatening multple riders on a downtown C train Saturday morning in Manhattan.

Purnell is accused of stabbing a passenger, robbing another and threatening multple riders on a downtown C train Saturday morning in Manhattan.

(Jeff Bachner/for New York Daily News)


“Someone just jumped on to our C train stabbing people,” one commuter tweeted. “Woke up to people fleeing towards me from other car train, one man covered in blood.”

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The robber jumped off the train at 59th St. and was nabbed by waiting cops.


The man he stabbed was taken to Mount Siani St. Luke’s with minor wounds.


Purnell was hospitalized with a deep gash on his head from the cane, cops said.


Cops charged him with two counts of robbery, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. 

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