The elderly man, who was almost stabbed in the heart by a scammer in a Manhattan subway station, spoke from his hospital bed and warned that traffic crimes like the one he was a victim of would put off visitors to the city.
Iqbal Ahmed, a 76-year-old who immigrated from Pakistan to study in the United States in 1970, is expected to stay in hospital for several more days while recovering from the near-fatal attack at the Herald Square subway station.
“It’s not good for the city, the tourists will be scared!” he told the New York Daily News on Monday from Bellevue Hospital.
The travel agent was on his way home to Brooklyn around 11:30 p.m. Sunday when he was harassed for money by David Trotman, a 38-year-old man with a long criminal record, police said.
“When I came down from the stairs, he said, ‘Give me money,'” Ahmed told the News.
Seconds later, the scammer stabbed Ahmed in his left shoulder, just inches from his heart, causing him to stumble down the stairs.
“He didn’t give me a chance to say anything,” Ahmed recalled.
Ahmed thought he was fine until he got to the bottom of the stairs and noticed blood pouring from his shoulder, he recalled.
He stumbled to an MTA booth, where a worker called 911.
First responders took him to Bellevue where he underwent surgery and was in stable condition as of Tuesday.
Trotman was arrested Monday after allegedly hitting another 42-year-old man on a northbound Line A train multiple times, police said.
He faces assault charges in each of the subway attacks, and his indictment in Manhattan Criminal Court was pending Tuesday.
Ahmed, who is single and has no children, often works late and said he doesn’t usually use the subway entrance he went to on Sunday night — he uses his mail in one of the USPS mailboxes had to drop off outside the stairwell before he could catch the F train home.
“I couldn’t even get off [the mail]!” he told the news.
Doctors told him he could stay in the hospital for up to four more days before going home.
Ahmed was still in pain after the surgery and said, “It hurts a lot now.”
A GoFundMe was set up to cover his hospital expenses.
His alleged attacker is also charged in a July 12 incident in which he allegedly grabbed the buttocks of a 21-year-old woman as she was walking near Wall Street and William Street in lower Manhattan.
Trotman was arrested in Queens back in April on property damage and trespassing charges, online data shows.
His criminal record dates back to at least 2017, when he was busted in Queens for grand larceny, according to police and sources.
When Trotman was ushered out of the NYPD Transit Bureau on Monday, he launched a vicious tirade in which he accused white people of being “ignorant people” who “suck shit in their sleep.”
Ahmed told the Daily News he hopes the suspect “gets what the law says.”