Fire Chief Intervenes to Rescue Irvington Train Station Stabbing Victim
| by Barrett Seaman |
Irvington Volunteer Fire Department Chief Chris DePaoli was driving past the Irvington Metro North train station with his two young daughters around 6:30pm Wednesday when he caught sight of a man physically assaulting a younger woman near the platform on the southbound side of the tracks. He first thought the man was trying to steal the woman’s purse until he saw that he was in fact stabbing her. He used his fire dept. radio to call into the Irvington police station just up Main Street and yelled at the man to stop. When the assailant failed to respond, DePaoli went back to his car to retrieve his daughter’s softball bat.
The assailant then turned his attention to the off-duty fire chief, but by that point, Police Officer James Egloff, also off duty, was passing by and came to assist. When Officer Ryan Weiss, alerted by the dispatch officer, joined in the effort, the 51-year old Mt. Vernon man put the knife to his own throat and began slashing himself. Officer Weiss fired his taser at the man, finally subduing him and disarming him.
Both the man, whom police have not yet identified, and his victim, a 36-year-old from Yonkers, who, it was later determined, was in a domestic relationship with her assailant, were taken to the Westchester County Medical Center in Valhalla. The attacker’s self-inflicted wounds have left him in serious condition. According to Metro North Inspector Joseph Martelli, who is leading the investigation because the attack took place on railroad property, the victim’s multiple stab wounds required surgery that saved her life.
So too did Chief DePaoli’s quick action. “I thought it was a brave act,” said Irvington Police Chief Michael Cerone. Added Mayor Brian Smith: “In a village like Irvington, we don’t expect to see something like this happen…..What Chris DePaoli did was above and beyond.”