A man has been arrested on one count of manslaughter in connection with the fatal stabbing of a New York City subway rider who allegedly punched his girlfriend and harassed other riders.
The altercation occurred shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday on a northbound J train as it approached Marcy Avenue and Broadway, the New York City Police Department said. The victim, identified as Devictor Ouedraogo, 36, of Brooklyn, was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital with a stab wound to the chest. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, police said. A toxicology report will be made.
Ouedraogo had allegedly been harassing people on the train while acting belligerent and erratic, police sources said. NBC New York.
A police officer told the news station that one of the people being harassed was the suspect’s girlfriend, Jordan Williams, 20, of Queens. A source told NBC New York that Ouedraogo hit Williams’ girlfriend.
It is unclear what led to the stabbing.
Two people initially described by police as persons of interest were detained after the incident. One of them has been released, a police spokesman said on Thursday. The other, Williams, was arrested and charged Wednesday with manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon, according to authorities.
Jason Goldman, Williams’ attorney, said his client acted in self-defense. He said it was “upsetting” that Williams was charged without a thorough investigation.
“We understand that it was a packed subway car during rush hour with dozens of witnesses. We have spoken with some who have already confirmed that the victim was physically violent towards others before and during this incident,” Goldman said in a statement Thursday.
The attorney questioned why Williams, who is black, had not been treated in the same way as Daniel Penny, a 24-year-old white Navy veteran who was seen on video choking Jordan Neely on a subway.
Penny’s lawyers have said that Neely, a black subway musician, was “aggressively threatening” passengers and that Penny never meant to harm him. Neely’s family, however, rejected that version.
Penny was taken into custody after the May 1 incident and later released. She turned herself in to the police on May 12. He was indicted by a New York City grand jury Wednesday on one count of second-degree manslaughter.
“Isn’t Mr. Williams getting the same treatment Mr. Penny got (release, voluntary surrender, and low bail) because his skin color is different and he comes from a particular neighborhood?” Goldman questioned.
“Instead, those same factors will likely result in Mr. Williams, a child, fighting this case of clear self-defense from a cage at Rikers,” he added.
NBC News was unable to reach Ouedraogo’s relatives.