A too-close brush with violence on the subway

The Post reported that the straphanger responsible for tracking down the latest violent suspect in the subway was opening a Mexican restaurant in Tribeca, and I figured that had to be Chela so I got in touch. I wanted to hear the story firsthand. Ronny Jaramillo owns another Chela in Park Slope along with several other bars; this is the 18th restaurant he’s opened in his career, and he hopes to have ours going by mid-May.

So back to the story: Ronny was on his way to the restaurant — the former Distilled/American Whiskey space at West Broadway and Franklin — from his Brooklyn home on Tuesday afternoon around 3:30 when the commotion started on the northbound 1 train as it approached Franklin.

“Everything was normal and we were just waiting to pull into the station,” Ronny said. “And then everyone in the car in front of me started screaming. I could see a guy with a 10-inch knife — like a military knife — swinging it around. Two guys were trying to stop him and one of them had been hurt.”

“As the doors opened at Franklin, we all ran out and the guy was screaming and punching walls. He screamed at one of the guys who tried to stop him, and then started coming at a group of us that were headed out of the station. But then he started to walk away and put the knife back in his backpack.”

“I thought, ‘He is definitely going to stab someone at some point,’ so I decided to follow him out. I stayed about 10 feet away so he couldn’t tell I was behind him and I called the cops with my location. He stopped to get in line at a covid test site and a police car pulled up and I got inside. Then about 17 police officers came out of nowhere and arrested him.”

“He tried to resist a little bit, but there was not much he could do.”

In a strange coincidence, one of Ronny’s friends recognized the suspect as the man who had mugged him at knifepoint in the subway last week. It was for reasons like that — so this guy would not just keep walking the streets — that Ronny decided to follow him.

“I don’t think it was bravery, it was more like you just have to do something,” he said. “What got my attention is no one said anything after it all ended — they just let him walk away. They were more concerned about when the next train would arrive. And that kind of sucks.”

Ronny said the officers were grateful, since it made the arrest easy. But now, with the opening of his first restaurant outside Brooklyn, he has some trepidation. Out there he uses a Vespa to get around, but now he has to ride the train regularly. And one guy is off the street, but where is the next one?

“What’s the solution? More police? Metal detectors? I have no idea,” he said. “What’s the solution for crazy?”



  1. Welcome to the neighborhood, Ronny!
    I will definitely be a regular.

  2. The reason people didn’t bother to do anything is that most of them probably know that our Manhattan DA won’t prosecute anyone unless a victim actually is killed. This person has likely already been released without bail and is shopping for a bigger knife.

  3. Heroic. Thank you, neighbor! This is how we can keep ourselves safe – watching out for one another.

  4. Thank you Ronny.

  5. This is awful, and unfortunately, a persistent trend. I’m sorry Ronny had to go through that.

  6. Agree current politicians (other than mayor) and Manhattan DA have no interest in prosecuting or changing laws to protect law abiding citizens. the only remedy is to vote Progressives OUT.

  7. Ronny…Welcome to the neighborhood and Big Thx. for your good citizenship. I will certainly be a regular.

  8. Our city needs to come up with an honest-to-goodness plan to help our mentally ill and homeless people. Yes, it will cost big bucks. But with a city of millionaires and billlionaires we can and must do it.