Guardsmen save life of New York subway stabbing victim

by Vern Evans

Two National Guard soldiers intervened to save the life of a man who was stabbed at a New York City subway station.

Staff Sgt. Joel Strickland and Spc. Desany Jacques with the New York National Guard dressed the wound with a trauma kit to stop the bleeding and stabilize the victim on May 20, according to the service.

The two soldiers were deployed to the subway as part of a citywide effort to assist the New York Police Department with bag checks. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul deployed 750 National Guard soldiers on March 6 after the city was rocked by a series of shovings, slashings, and shootings, some fatal and some captured on video.

Arrests on the subway are up almost 53% from 2023, according to a New York Police Department news release.

The two soldiers were convening with police officers around 2 p.m. at a subway security checkpoint, where they perform bag inspections. They overheard a loud noise and looked up to see a shirtless man yelling obscenities and fighting with two other people.

The police intervened and detained the instigator while the soldiers tended to the two individuals who had been attacked, one of whom had a large stab wound in his back.

They called an ambulance, but in the interim staunched the excessive bleeding by packing the wound with gauze, effectively saving the man’s life.

Both Strickland and Jacques have military medical training and are volunteer first responders outside of the National Guard.

Strickland lives in Manhattan and is a medic assigned to the 42nd Infantry Division, where he has served in Joint Task Force Empire Shield, New York state’s military affairs organization, since 2020.

Jacques, a Long Island resident, is a supply specialist assigned to the 102nd Military Police Company.

“These two soldiers were able to react without hesitation,” Capt. Caleb Jean, a company commander in Joint Task Force Empire Shield, said in a statement. “I am extremely impressed with how they handled the situation.”

Jacques said responding quickly to an unforeseen circumstance is something soldiers assigned to the task force must be prepared for.

“Every day is something new on post for us,” Jacques said in a statement.

Riley Ceder is an editorial fellow at Military Times, where he covers breaking news, criminal justice and human interest stories. He previously worked as an investigative practicum student at The Washington Post, where he contributed to the ongoing Abused by the Badge investigation.

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